Just before I take off again for another burst of airplane movies, a quick note on the other film I watched on my last flight. To create a bit of a counter-balance to Transformers 3, I tuned into a small film that I had not heard before: Safety Not Guaranteed. It’s got a great premise: magazine journalists chasing an interesting feature try to find out the story behind a classified ad in which someone requests company on an upcoming trip through time. The ad exhorts the responder to bring their own weapons, and warns them that safety is not guaranteed.
The film is about the young female intern, Darius (played by Aubrey Plaza, who I have never heard of before, but is in Parks and Recreation), who ends up taking the lead on the investigation by going “under cover” as a believer, joining the odd Kenneth in the preparations for his mission. After a lot of time spent proving herself, Darius finally is trusted enough by Kenneth to be let in on the reason for his journey: to right a great wrong from many years ago – a source of great pain. Is that what has pushed Kenneth into such a disconnection with reality that he’d believe time travel is possible? Or is Kenneth saner than anyone can guess?
Kenneth isn’t the only one trying to travel through time. Darius’ boss, Jeff, is chasing a romance from his youth. And Darius herself, in building up trust with Kenneth, opens up about her own past in a way she is not normally able to. It gives the movie a quirky yet cohesive feel, making it a pretty funny and enjoyable viewing experience.
The ending is slightly jarring but is meant to be wildly optimistic and hopeful. It’s disappointing only in that I’d have liked to have seen what happened next, but I guess that really would have been a different movie all together.