Posted on 3/30/13 03:16 AM
"Safety Not Guaranteed" is a fairly quiet and genuine film about taking chances. That life should be taken advantage to its full potential, whether it be with an idea or loved one. There is also an underlying message about regret and how we should cope with it. We could either live with it, forget it or try to fix it.
Writing in the film is fairly strong as it tries to juggle three different stories...well more like two and a half into one fully realized experience. The lines of dialogue are genuine and usually pretty funny. However, the film has a layer of heart. It makes you feel for the characters as you learn more and more about them. The main story about a girl who meets a wacky guy is sweet, but the most compelling story of the film is about one of the side characters who tries to rekindle a old romance. That story works in so many ways where we see the pain and joy of the characters and it doesn't feel tacked on.
Characters are generally pretty great as they are relateable and the actors do a fine job of bringing them to life. Darius, Aubrey Plaza, is awkward at first, but slowly turns into a more lovable character. Her dead pan humor is hilarious and she says most of the best lines. Plus, Aubrey Plaza manages to bring a lot of emotion to the character. Jeff, Jake Johnson, begins as a sex obsessed jerk, but turns into a very sympathizing character. Jake bring the right amount of cockiness and and emotional depth to the character. He even becomes helpful and really helps develop another character in the film. Mark Duplass does a good job as the on edge Kenneth. The rest of the cast is fairly good as well.
Overall, "Safety Not Guaranteed" is a really enjoyable film that is not only entertaining, but brisks by. The characters are compelling and offer up more than what they initially promise. However, it doesn't reach a level of greatness, but it still is one heck of a film. It had me laughing, feeling, and drawn into the story. I give it 4/5, funny, genuine, and filled with great performances and characters.