Montclair Review: ‘Safe Spaces’ is a Sharp, Empathic, and Timely Comedy

If anything, Safe Spaces gets right what it’s like to be on the lowest wrung of the career ladder in academia. Justin Long stars as Josh, a creative writing and drama professor who in the first scene shockingly grills a student about a sexual experience she tiptoed up towards in her writing, turning the whole thing into something he with decent intentions thought was provocative. Speaking from experience, it’s an exercise that’s commonly used in creative writing or filmmaking–asking “well, what next”–although he should have known better. His behavior turns him into persona non grata amongst students as the incident spirals out of control when a sexual assault survivor takes the case up with his department.

Written and directed by Daniel Schechter, the film is a fascinating and often cringe-inducing study of millennial urban life in a #MeToo era. Josh, a participant in the gig
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