86 minutes, U.S.A., 2012, Colour, D-Cinema

Quirky, touching, and highly entertaining, Safety Not Guaranteed takes its title from the text of a mysterious personal ad seeking a companion for time travel (applicants are further warned, “Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before”).

Dissatisfied magazine intern Darius (comedienne Aubrey Plaza, best known for TV’s Parks and Recreation, in what should be a breakout role) jumps at the chance to accompany slacker reporter Jeff (Jake Johnson) and fellow intern Arnau (Karan Soni) as they investigate the story behind the ad. On tracking down its author, the strange and paranoid Kenneth (mumblecore icon Mark Duplass), Darius, although attracted to him, is never quite sure what to make of his claims.

Meanwhile, Jeff is involved in some time travel of his own as he reconnects with his high school sweetheart. To reveal more about how the award-winning script unfolds would be unfair to an engaging, amusing, and very satisfying film. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

✔Programmer’s Pick

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