Thursday, August 9, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

Let me start by thanking The Grand Theater in Hattiesburg, MS for bringing a few indie films to us over the summer. I've had the pleasure of watching both Moonrise Kingdom and Safety Not Guaranteed, and I didn't expect to have that pleasure. While many of you have probably heard of Moonrise Kingdom, I doubt that many of you are familiar with Safety Not Guaranteed. If you have not seen a trailer for this film, here is one for you to check out: Click this!!!. As for my expectations of this film, I am not exactly sure what they were. The story, revolving around a time-travelling loon, was semi-intriguing, but I needed more than that to want to go see it. That's where the actors come in. Although I'm not a huge Parks and Rec fan, I do like Aubrey Plaza, and I'm a huge, huge fan of New Girl, so I'm also a huge fan of Jake M. Johnson. On top of these things, the movie just looked like it had a good vibe, so I figured what the heck...

While the plot wasn't extremely deep or surprising, it was absolutely fantastic. There are two aspects that this film hit right on the head. 1) Character Development. They really did a good job of making you feel for the characters at hand, and each character had a good amount of depth for an hour and a half long movie. 2) Perfect balance of drama and comedy. I absolutely love movies that can successfully make you laugh and feel. That's exactly why 50/50 was my favorite movie of 2011. Witty humor mixed with emotion isn't an easy thing to create, but Safety Not Guaranteed did a great job of balancing the two, just like 50/50.

As I said, the character development in this film was absolutely fantastic. It was obvious that Aubrey Plaza's Darius was going to have a certain amount of depth. The surprising thing was the depth of every other character. Every one of them had some huge revelation. I may not always be a sucker for deep characters (I did LOVE The Avengers), but, when done right, it makes me love a film so, so much more.

There were very few characters in Safety Not Guaranteed, and, honestly, I can't think of one that disappointed.

Everybody! Darius (played by Aubrey Plaza) was a terrific leading character with great depth. Next of importance, Mark Duplass gave a great performance as the time-travelling Kenneth. The two really did a good job in their scenes together. On top of these two, there were also two great performances from Jake M. Johnson (as Jeff) and Karan Soni (as Arnau). Johnson was very similar to his character on New Girl, which is terrific, and I will predict that Soni has a very bright future in the world of nerd comedy. Great performances across the board!

From The Dark Knight Rises to this... A big change! But I must say that the second half of the summer of 2012 may just be saving the summer itself. Safety Not Guaranteed is probably the most surprisingly great film that I have seen all year long. However, the year is still young. Although it has left the theater already, I would certainly encourage everyone to check it out when it comes out on DVD. Also, do not be discouraged by the R-rating. It is nothing that I wouldn't show my mama. Kudos to The Grand Theatre. Kudos to the second half of 2012. And Kudos to Safety Not Guaranteed! I give it 4.12 out of 5 stars.

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