4. Safety Not Guaranteed
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake M. Johnson, Karl Soni
Safety Not Guaranteed is almost too good to be true: It’s a romantic comedy that’s both hilarious and genuinely touching. So it figures that its recent limited release has rendered it all but overlooked by mainstream audiences, which is a real pity, because director Colin Trevorrow’s nimble comedy gives independent cinema a great, singular name.
Beautiful and quirky Aubrey Plaza, proving that she’s more than the cold, awkward character she so brilliantly plays on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, is a delight as one of two magazine interns who, along with their chaperone/arrogant reporter (New Girl’s Jake M. Johnson), investigate a newspaper ad from a recluse (The League’s Mark Duplass) who’s looking for a shotgun driver with whom to time travel. Oddly enough, it’s based on an actual ad, too.
With uniformly convincing performances, consistently spot-on humor, and a ballsy climax that’s unexpectedly poignant, Safety Not Guaranteed is a heartfelt little picture that dishes out laughs and butterflies in equal measure.