I watch a lot of movies and I sometimes take it for granted that you do too, that you’ve already seen this or that cool movie. Or maybe I’m stacked to the gills with pop culture and it’s hard sometimes to know which direction to point my noggin in and start writing. Case in point, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED Wow, I think there’s a lot of folks out there that are still playing around with the meme that inspired this fine indie flick. It has, for starters, the hero of indieland, Mark Duplass. That man was born to command the indie screen. Catch him in YOUR SISTER’S SISTER with the ever lovely Emily Blunt.
Anyhow, this was one story and then it became quite another more intricate one. As for where the meme came from, the early age of the internet, 1997. A popular magazine about rural living entitled, “Backwoods Home Magazine” had some extra space to fill on one of its pages. So, senior editor John Silveira filled it with a poetic fake ad. Pretty decent, a decade before Twitter: Someone to go back in time with me…Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.” Jay Leno picked it up for his stupid ad routine on “The Tonight Show,” even though it doesn’t reveal someone for being stupid and so a meme was eventually born.
Next up for that delightful little meme, director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly turn it into a fanciful, quirky movie. We begin with a meeting at a slick Seattle magazine. Everyone is throwing out ideas. An editor decides he’d love to do something with this oddball ad so a team is created: one cynical reporter and two very green interns. They all jump into an SUV and, if they’re not careful, this will just be another hack job by Jeff (Jake Johnson). The two interns appear to be useless. Arnau (Karan Soni) seems to be an uptight killjoy. Darius (Aubrey Plaza) seems to be an apathetic slacker. But, given a little time, magic occurs in more ways than one. It turns out, that Darius isn’t really a slacker. Given the opportunity, she invests in turning their questionable quest into a worthwhile story.
But there’s more. Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the guy who wrote the oddball ad about time traveling isn’t an obvious nut job. He’s kind, intelligent, and somebody that Darius can’t easily dismiss. And, you guessed it, Jeff and Arnau also grow as characters but in unexpected ways. It’s the evolution of Darius and Kenneth that really captivates. With a delicate touch, this movie will make you believe anything is possible.
So, yeah man, this the prefect time to support this movie. As you probably know, there is a more to the life cycle of any movie that its initial theatrical release. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Visit the movie’s website here.