In the twee hipster-than-thou comedy Saftey Not Guaranteed, twee hipster Aubrey Plaza comments on someone’s laptop.
“Why do you have flames on your laptop?”
“It’s a gaming laptop. It’s really fast.”
Then hipster Jake Johnson picks them up for some putative time travel shenanigans. It’s like Looper, but more hip. Guess where such a hip movie is set. If you guessed Oregon, you’re close enough. A dude makes Aubrey Plaza fall in love with him by playing a zither. That’s right, a zither. Not since The Third Man has a zither been used so effectively.
Safety Not Guaranteed is mostly just an appeal to people who think Aubrey Plaza is hot. Which, sure, she is. But for any sort of convincing emotion, you’re left with Jake Johnson trying not to cry while driving a go-cart, smoking a cigarette, and swigging whiskey from a bottle. Dig it. There. I just saved you ninety minutes. It’s enough to make a guy want to catch up on The New Girl.
At least Mark Duplass as a mentally unbalanced time traveller — or is he? — lends the movie some sincerity. To see Duplass in a better movie, I cannot recommend strongly enough the hilarious Hump Day, which exists completely outside the usual studio conventions and the typical twee indie vibe. And for the non-grating version of Safety Not Guaranteed, see Happy Accidents with Marisa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Safety Not Guaranteed is out now on DVD and VOD (here’s an Amazon.com link to support Qt3).