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Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Possibly the best movie I have seen this year...no it definitely is.
This movie was so refreshing. This is why I love independent film.
I won't really go into the plot, besides what you already know from the trailer, but basically Mark Duplass's character is a bit of nut-case who posts an ad seeking a partner to go back in time. Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson and Koran Soni are reporters who are following him in hopes of gaining an interesting story.
The film brilliantly handles very complex themes involving the past and regret. But the film isn't just about going back and changing something in your past. It is mostly about the power of love to heal emotional wounds.
All of the reasons why people on IMDb are pissing on this movie seem stupid to me.
1. People say that Aubrey Plaza is trying too hard to be quirky and it brings the movie down. OK, admittedly, Plaza hasn't exactly shown herself to be a very diverse actress but her "stock character" works in this movie. She has to be different and a bit strange for her romance with Duplass to work.
2. People say they don't buy the romance between Plaza and Duplass. Why not? They are two very different people who have few friends and no one seems to understand. Seems natural that they should be drawn to each other.
3. People say that Jake M. Johnson's character gets too much screen time and it detracts from the main story. I don't see that at all. I think without Johnson's side story the film would be worse. Johnson's character, just like Duplass's, wants to go back to a time when things were different, a time when he had love. His story is an essential part of the films theme.
4. People say the ending is weak. I initially thought this too but after some thought I changed my mind. I won't explain this too much so as not to spoil anything but I will just say that Duplass's motivation for doing what he does is the key to the ending making sense.
The only real weakness the film has is some bad lighting in a few scenes, some spots with slightly weak or forced dialogue. Also perhaps not the sharpest editing job ever either. But these are really minor things.
It is well worth seeing. Duplass and Johnson deliver truly incredible performances, even though they will undoubtedly be snubbed at all the major awards. And I'm just a sucker for Aubrey Plaza, she's just so darn cute. The movie is funny, emotional, sincere and very intelligent. See it!