Karan Soni

Editor’s note: With Safety Not Guaranteed beginning its limited release roll-out today, we thought to share our SXSW review again. This review was originally posted on March 14, 2012, and it’s much safer to read than anything you might find on Craigs List. The want ad is simple. A partner is needed to travel backward in time. It will be dangerous, it will be an adventure, and their safety will not be guaranteed. A magazine writer convinces his editor that there’s a goofy human interest story in the ad and gathers together two interns for a trip north to Seattle in the hopes of meeting the ad’s owner. What they discover is that not all time travel involves machines, portals or HG Wells chasing Jack the Ripper through modern day San Francisco. Sometimes all it needs are heads and hearts refusing to let go of the past. Director Colin Trevorrow‘s feature debut is just as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you tear up in hopeful anticipation. The concept of time travel is the catalyst for a story that examines the idea of returning to an earlier time in our lives when things were better and our futures were still bright. Or at least, that’s how we remember things.

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Here’s how it is (and how I suspect it’s going to be) – we love Colin Treverrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed ’round these parts, and we think you might love it, too. The film debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and while I was not as effusive in my praise for it as Rob Hunter was when it played at SXSW last month, I have not been able to stop thinking about it, and do agree with Rob’s assessment that it’s warm, witty, and wonderful. Hell, we even threw this time travel love story into our Best Movies of SXSW 2012 list, and Hunter and I gabbed about it on Reject Radio. See? Love. Based on a true story (read: based on a want ad placed in a paper), the film follows Jake Johnson‘s cocky journalist who drags two interns (Aubrey Plaza and Karan Soni) into the search for a man who has placed an ad looking for someone to travel through time with him. Again. Because he’s done it before – though he can’t guarantee, you know, safety. What they find is Mark Duplass, a man who already more than a little off, with his time travel beliefs not doing him too many favors. But more than just the discovery of Duplass’s Kenneth, the group discovers, wait for it, much more about themselves. No, really. At the heart of that is an unexpected and consistently charming romance between Plaza and Duplass that should melt even the darkest of hearts. […]

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