Film Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

I watched this quirky sf rom-com last night, and my sleep suffered for it. I cannot simply take it at face value as so many reviewers seem to be doing. Am I really the only viewer whose brain kept going around in circles, pondering the time travel concepts? Maybe that’s what I get for being married to an amateur theoretical physicist all those years. But I know from my own writing that there is a ton of stuff — research, back story, tangents, spin-offs, subplots, etc — that never makes it onto the page. Surely it’s the same with movies. How much of this story never made it onto the cutting-room floor, let alone the screen? There is so much going on there that is just hinted at in this movie that I have to suspect there is much, much more to this story than is readily apparent on the first viewing.

Yes, I am going to have to buy the DVD when it’s released and analyze the bejeebies out of this film. I have lots of pet theories, but I think I need to watch this at least once more before sharing any of them. But let me just ask this: Did the Kenneth in this film seem to have time-travelled before?

Setting aside the intricacies of the space-time continuum for a few moments, I have to say I adored this film. It was sweetly funny without being cloying or insipid, and its balance of geeky physics and human connections was perfect. All of the characters were interesting, each giving some unique insight into loss and regret. And if the writing was well done, the direction and performances were exceptional. This was the realest-feeling movie I’ve seen in a long time, and I mean that in the best sense.

I know this film has limited distribution, but please go see it if you have the opportunity. Then come here and discuss it with me. Tell me if I’m as crazy as Kenneth. Or crazier.

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