I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a movie the first thing I do upon exiting the theater is take a moment to adjust to being out in the world again, and then immediately start listing all of the problems I had with the movie. You probably do this too? I’m pretty sure most people, if not everyone, does this, unless the world I live in is just a lot more miserable than the world most people do, in which case I hope you had fun talking about how pretty Snow White and the Huntsman looked. But do you want to know what the first thing I said after seeing Safety Not Guaranteed this past weekend was? Even though I saw it at the same theater in which Gabe saw Prometheus/ate brunch, but every time I wanted to see it it sold out at like 10:30AM, and I was like “what gives? is it really that popular?” until I finally got tickets and realized the theater was the size of my bedroom and the screen was roughly the size of my computer screen and had like 10 seats and then it made sense why it kept selling out so quickly? Which was surprising because I had been to a movie there once or twice in the past and it was in a normal-size theater? But this theater wasn’t, and I had to sit in the front row? Which really wasn’t that bad because there were literally three rows? And honestly it was still fine because you can order cocktails during the movie and they bring them to you, but right at the beginning the size was just pretty jarring? Anyway, want to know what I said when I left the theater? I said, “I HAD ALMOST NO PROBLEMS WITH THAT MOVIE.”

I honestly did not mean it in a remotely negative or backhanded way, or even as a joke, which is what people thought it was and then I was kind of embarrassed, but I was trying to think of anything I had a problem with and the two problems I could come up with were one time Aubrey Plaza made a joke that I didn’t particularly like, and another time Aubrey Plaza had to cry and both tears rolled down her face at the same time in a way where you could tell that she wasn’t really crying and just waited until that moment to blink the fake tears out of her eyes. JUST THOSE TWO! Me, the most professional movie critic on the Internet, and I only had those two problems with this movie. Can you even believe it? I cannot even believe it.

To talk a bit about the movie, IF I MUST, it follows Jake Johnson (from lots of things, also New Girl) (in a movie he is a reporter at a newspaper), Aubrey Plaza (an intern at a newspaper), and Karan Soni (a nerd, also intern at the newspaper) as they investigate a guy (Mark Duplass) who put an ad in the classifieds looking for a partner to travel back in time with. Aubrey Plaza approaches him and tells him she wants to go back in time with him. He puts her though a number a tests until he decides that he can trust her. You can watch the trailer here, if you haven’t already. You soon find out Jake Johnson, who took the lead on the story, had ulterior motives, and also Aubrey Plaza had some ulterior motives of her own, and the nerd is just a full on nerd and has a very funny joke about his computer at one point, and it’s hard to really explain anything about the movie without ruining it because it gets into spoiler territory pretty quickly and WHY AREN’T YOU SEEING IT ALREADY?

The ensemble cast is wonderful. Jake Johnson plays a wonderful jerkier version of his character on New Girl. Aubrey Plaza plays a much more human and sweeter version of Aubrey Plaza. Karan Soni is a very realistic nerd. Mark Duplass is very, very good in his role as a total heartbroken weirdo who is also pretty handsome so you can see why Aubrey Plaza SPOILER SPOILER. It is a wonderful, very funny movie, with lots of wonderful very big heart. I don’t know what else to tell you! Do you like Buffalo ’66? The Aubrey Plaza/Mark Duplass dynamic reminded me a lot of the Christina Ricci/Vincent Gallo dynamic in Buffalo ’66, except without the kidnapping and with a bit less mental illness. But there are lots of similarities, and it is a wonderful, very sweet dynamic, and I love it so much. The similarities really hit you (you = me) when they both discuss why they want to travel back in time, and then also when you find out SPOILER. YOU GUYS? Please go see this movie. If you don’t like it that’s too bad and I’m very sorry about how you have no capacity for judging whether movies are good or bad, but if you do like it, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!

I did talk to another friend who has seen this movie and this friend said he didn’t like the Jake Johnson ulterior motive plot line because he didn’t think it was ever resolved and he didn’t think that it added much to the film overall, but he was wrong. It was resolved in a very quiet way that I really liked and I thought it added a lot to the movie. I can’t get into the details until you see it, obviously, but you should go see it and then tweet at me and I can give you his phone number and you can call him and tell him how wrong he was.


Comments (19)
  1. I liked it! Actually my problem with it was that while I think League Mark Duplass is pretty okay looking, trying to look weird with a mullet Mark Duplass just looked too gross potato faced for me to think Aubrey Plaza would take so little time to put her tongue in his mouth (SPOILER!) He did too good a job of looking weird to me. The mullet was the bridge to far: weirdos can have perfectly normal hair and look decent and his dappling in mullets felt a little too put on and ugly. But everything else was very good!

  2. Ok, but what are the brunch options? Do they have eggs benedict? I love eggs benedict. I’d sit through Prometheus again if they have that shit.

  3. Just so we’re clear here, you’re saying that we should all go see Safety Not Guaranteed? If only they had advertisements for it…

  4. I saw this on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked most of the parts!

  5. I don’t think this is spoilery, but I guess it’s not really brought up in the trailer so:

    I thought the Jake Johnson plot was very good, probably my favorite part of the movie. A review I read of the movie pointed out that what he was trying to do by seeking out that girl was essentially time traveling, which made sense and made his story very relevant to the main plot. Also, the culmination of his and Karan Sori’s stories was the best montage set to a Wye Oak song ever.

  6. I love this movie! I saw it a couple weeks ago and have been asking everyone if they’ve seen it and everybody is like, “nah”, but it’s awesome! I love the song he sings her, and I love the part where Jake Johnson is like, “the eyes never get old, you know?” and Aubrey Plaza is like, “wow.” Haha.

  7. SO much of what you felt about this movie experience is what I felt. It helps that I saw it in the same theater and had the same feelings about that, but I also thought it was so charming and adorable, and I love Mark Duplass and everything that he does, and Aubrey Plaza was so nicely not April, and yeah there was a lot of suspending of disbelief but I think that is what made it so wonderful. I left the theater and immediately told everyone I knew that they needed to see it.

  8. I remember seeing a commercial for it. It was very long and I found myself rapt. It struck some kind of weird chord with me. Did anyone else get that feeling?

  9. I usually hate it when movies are made up of “moments”-but this one had so many good ones! I don’t think I breathed at all when Mark Duplass was singing that sweet song on his weird instrument. I loved the slight break in Nick from New Girl when he was driving the go-kart , when you could tell what a piece of poop he realized he was-that slight grimace pretty much sums up what getting on in your 30s and not liking it is like. The theater I saw this in was so pleasantly silent at the end-like the entire audience was trying to process why they suddenly felt like crying. Overall it was one of the loveliest movie going experiences that I’ve had in a long, long time.

  10. I thought it was pretty good. Not great by any stretch. I hate when people say the word “flippin” in a movie and that happens like 3 times in this movie. I also did not care for Aubrey Plaza’s performance in this movie unfortunately. I liked every other performance, but the way she chose to imply chemistry with Duplass’ character was to make anime eyes and smile a lot and lean in close to him. It’s basically the same exact rom-com “acting” that people like Rachel Leigh Cook and Jennifer Love Hewitt used to do, but for some reason (perhaps some sort of perceived cred due to being a comedian with a sour face most of the time), Plaza gets a pass for doing it.

    Overall I thought it was indeed a sweet movie and my favorite stuff was the Jake Johnson/Karan Soni stuff. Especially the night where he tries to get the kid laid. And Johnson’s whole plot with his ex from high school or whatever was really good also and Duplass was charming enough. But I really didn’t care for Aubrey Plaza’s character ultimately, and that’s what ended up keeping a merely good movie from being great as far as my opinion is concerned. Also *SPOILERS BELOW*:

    Do we think they actually travelled back in time or did they disintegrate and die? It’s seriously a question I’d like somebody else’s thoughts on, because I was wondering out loud about it after my viewing.

  11. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and I LOVED it. Like some of the other commenters, I also became pretty evangelical about it to my friends, and a couple of them actually listened to me and they loved it too! I know that art is subjective and all that, but if you don’t like Safety Not Guaranteed, I think you might be dead inside.

  12. “but if you do like it, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!” is my favorite movie review, ever.

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