Flippin’ pinpoint calibrations

July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

As soon as I saw the Sundance laurels on the poster for Safety Not Guranteed, I knew that I needed to see this film. Now that I have, I’m telling anyone and everyone who will listen to see it as well. Safety Not Guaranteed is about a journalist and two interns who set out to write a story about a man looking for a time-traveling partner. They want to figure out who this guy is and if he’s serious, crazy or both. They also discover a few things about themselves along the way.

Safety Not Guaranteed is a low-budget, independent film of the purest kind. It’s a wonderfully original and intelligently written film that perfectly straddles the romance, comedy and science-fiction genres. It’s a story about time-travel, but at it’s foundation it’s a story about people. This film is about growing up, moving on, falling in love and living life to the fullest. It’s about a group of people who are trying to find themselves.

After being screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Safety Not Guaranteed won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Having seen the film, I’m not surprised. The script is simple, heartfelt and full of appropriately-placed one-liners and pop culture references. On a low-budget film like this the script does a lot of the heavy lifting, and I found myself laughing, crying and cheering at all the right places.

One thing I really enjoyed about this film is that the science behind Kenneth’s (the character who placed the classified ad) time-travel is purposefully vague and ambiguous. The method doesn’t matter. What matters is that Kenneth believes it will work and that Darius (one of the interns) believes in Kenneth. The mystery is what brings the characters together.

I went into the theater  with the expectation that this film could go in several different directions, and I was pleased with where it ended up. The final scene was a bit predictable, but it was done subtly enough that it was enjoyable and heartfelt. I felt closure as the credits rolled, and I left the theater grinning like a fool.

This film isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. Director Colin Trevorrow beautifully executes Derek Connolly’s award-winning script, and every actor gives a stunning performance. Safety Not Guaranteed is one of the best films of the year, and no one should miss it.

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