Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

I saw this quirky time travel flick a couple of weeks ago, getting back into my proclivity for oddball indie movies.

The movie stars everyone's favorite apathetic, sarcastic government office worker, Aubrey Plaza, as an apathetic, sarcastic magazine intern, Darius. Her magazine is trying to find a high-interest story to publish when one editor, Jeff (played by New Girl's Jake Johnson), finds a classified ad to go back in time. Jeff, Darius and another intern, Arnau, leave to investigate the man who posted the ad and determine just how crazy he is. After Jeff strikes out trying to convince the man that he would like to time travel with him, Darius steps in and quickly wins over the strange man, Kenneth, with her own awkwardness. As Darius trains in survival and weapons with Kenneth, the three compile notes to create their story. The trio's view of Kenneth changes over time, though, as Darius develops feelings for him and they all realize he may not be as crazy as he seems.

The movie, produced by and starring Mark Duplass (Kenneth), had a certain charm in the story it weaved around Darius and Kenneth. Part of the charm was believing, as strongly as the magazine staff, that Kenneth was truly crazy. The movie lost it somewhat for me when he turned out to be genuine in both his paranoia and intentions. I am starting to love me some Aubrey Plaza, though. She's amazing on Parks & Recreation and even has appealed to my hipster heart appearing in a music video for Father John Misty. I liked Jake Johnson in this, as well, though I wasn't crazy about how much of a jerk his character was. All in all, it was a hilarious movie and the acting was great; I certainly hope we'll continue to see more from Plaza and Johnson...though I would like Plaza to increase her range a bit on the next thing.

Mini soundtrack:

Wye Oak - "Civilian"

Mark Duplass - "Big Machine"

Guster - "Architects & Engineers"

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