One of the pleasant surprises of last year was a little indie called Safety Not Guaranteed. It has a plot that runs somewhat along the lines of Sound of My Voice: A group of young journalists find a provocative classified ad in the local paper which reads:
*WANTED* Somebody 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 have only done this once before.
And so they investigate. What follows is fascinating and wonderful. Roger Ebert liked the movie as much as I did:
Few descriptions of “Safety Not Guaranteed” will do it justice. It’s a more ambitious and touching movie than seems possible, given its starting point, which is this classified ad in an alternative newspaper…
It is a comedy in many ways, but there’s a serious undertow, kindhearted attention to the characters, and a treatment of time travel that (a) takes it seriously, and (b) sidesteps all of the well-known paradoxes by which time travel is impossible. That’s not to say time travel takes place in “Safety Not Guaranteed.” Or that it doesn’t. A rather brilliant ending is completely satisfying while proving nothing. What it means is that the story takes place entirely at this time, and time travel provides the subject and not the gimmick…
“Safety Not Guaranteed” not only has dialogue that’s about something, but characters who have some depth and dimension.
I like lots of different types of movies, but this type is one of my favorites — full of charm, but also with a good story. I had previously given it an 8 rating, but every time I think of it I am filled with warm fuzzies, so I’m upping it to a 9/10. This is why I like indies so much.