A small indy film chalk full of unknowns with a quasi Sci-Fi premise? Sign me up! Safety Not Guaranteed is all the things people love in a small dramedy like this. Nice but simple settings, more dialog than action, and a good story with a pretty nice pay off.
Aubrey Plaza is the female lead in this (Darius) and if she looks familiar to you it could be that she played Julie Powers in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. She plays a kind of hipsters magazine intern who hasn't really found her niche in the world. Usually that sort of character annoys me to no end but Plaza makes her kind of likable for the most part. She volunteers for a writing assignment when one of the lead writers finds a strange add in the paper written by a man looking for someone to travel back in time with him.
All of the charm really comes from Mark Duplass who plays Kenneth, the odd ball guy who thinks he can time travel. He really hasn't been in much that mainstream movie goers would know but he Direct and wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed "Jeff Who Lives At Home". Duplass plays a quirky guy to say the least, and normally too much oddball can be off putting, but he really balances that well. By-in-large I found myself kind of rooting for this guy.
There are other minor players in the movie that serve up most of the comedic moments, but the laughs aren't cheap and they serve a purpose. There is also a fairly forgettable side story that follows the supposed author of the article this team is writing on Kenneth as he plans to have the interns do all the real work while he connects with an old High School Girlfriend.
The movie looks and sounds good even though it becomes pretty clear by the time the credits role that 90% of the budget basically went into one shot, and it is a pretty satisfying shot at that.