Owen Gleiberman
June 08, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Safety Not Guaranteed

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
99 minutes
Limited Release Date
06/08/12
performer
Aubrey Plaza

We gave it a B

From Lars and the Real Girl to Harvey, there’s a noble tradition in movies of folks who are gently off their rockers — characters who invite the audience to fall in love with their cuddly-cracked ”innocence.” So it is with Kenneth (Mark Duplass), a supermarket worker in the Pacific Northwest who plans to travel back in time. He also thinks that the government is after him, but these textbook traits of schizophrenia are treated by the movie as glorified sitcom quirks. Jeff (Jake Johnson), a reporter for Seattle Magazine, has decided to do a story on Kenneth, and he takes two interns with him. The best thing in the film is Aubrey Plaza’s goldfish-eyed cynicism as Darius, the intern who’s just jaded enough to go along with Kenneth’s paranoia. Safety Not Guaranteed is a fable of ”redemption,” and it’s too tidy by half, but it is also very sweetly told. B

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