Gotta See This: Safety Not Guaranteed
You know those movies - where you just smile at the end? The ones that leave you on a movie high for days? Yeah, those are rare. I search for those like a wild mystic creature only to be found in Legend and Neverending Story.
'Safety Not Guaranteed' is a rare beast. It's a simple film, yet deep enough to actually leave you with something long after the credits have rolled.
It's the story of a girl who, while interning at a magazine, jumps on a story about a guy who posted a very strange classified ad in his local newspaper. It simply says: WANTED: SOMEONE TO GO BACK IN TIME WITH ME. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. YOU'LL GET PAID AFTER WE GET BACK. MUST BRING YOUR OWN WEAPONS. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.
I want to tell you everything about this movie. Start to finish. That's one of the reasons I decided to start writing reviews.
I've been reviewing movies I love for family and friends for a very long time. And by "reviewing" I mean, I've been describing in vivid detail, every single plot point, leaving nothing to the imagination, except them imagining putting a sock in my mouth, wrapping my head in duck tape and leaving me to die a slow painful death in the middle of a desert.
This movie left me with that feeling. Like I want to tell everyone I know to stop what they are doing and go watch it immediately. And I can honestly say its been a long time since I've had that feeling. I'm trying to remember the last movie. Maybe Avengers.
But, everyone knew that was going to be awesome. Right?
But no one saw 'Safety Not Guaranteed'. I remember watching the trailer for it when it was on the festival circuit last year. And I remember wanting to see it. But, like most of you, I didn't.
Telling you everything about this movie would, of course, be totally counterproductive. Here's what I do want to tell you. There is an innocence to this film that I haven't seen in a long time.
John Hughes knew how to capture that lightning in a bottle. Remember the first time you saw 'Breakfast Club' or 'Sixteen Candles' or even 'Home Alone'? You know there's something about those movies. It's hard to put your finger on.
I am by no means saying that Colin Trevorrow, the director of our movie, is the next John Hughes. This is his first feature film. But I feel safe in saying he and writer Derek Connolly are ones to watch. This is a VERY strong start.
Most writers and directors feel they have to force feed the plot to us. The studios think the general public has the attention span of a fruit fly, capable of only digesting bullet points laced with sugar. So they have to lay it out nice and neat for us. In cleanly wrapped packages that say "guy meets girl then makes a bonehead move to lose the girl then redeems himself in act 3". CUE AUDIENCE CRYING - AAAAND FADE TO BLACK!
So I'm supposed to continue giving you my hard earned money for that trite story? Pass. Give me something that will make me smile.
Maybe I should apologize for rambling, but I can't. It's like, when you find that amazing hole-in-the-wall diner at your vacation destination after hours on the road eating nothing but Combos and Mike & Ike's. You want to throw your fist in the air like John Bender while Simple Minds plays in the background!
But alas, what we mostly get out of Hollywood these days is a stomach ache and a guilty conscience. Did I really just spend money on that?
Here's the trailer. Give it a watch. Then go rent the movie. Happiness IS Guaranteed.
Available at Redbox and streaming on Netflix Instant
Drop Jason a line at firstname.lastname@example.org