Endearing time travelling with only natural sweeteners
In food labelling, they always list the ingredients after how much there is of it in the product. (You might want to think twice before informing yourself. Do you really want to know that sugar is the second biggest ingredient in your favourite müsli?)
For some movies the genre declaration at IMDb works the same way, and this is the case of Safety Not Guaranteed. Comedy, romance and science fiction, in that order. But the science fiction part is small, just an added touch of flavour.
You might think there would have been more of it, considering it’s a movie about time-travelling. There’s this man who claims that he has built a machine that helps you go back in time. When he advertises for a partner to go with him, this catches the attention of a magazine, which decides to write an article about him. A team is sent out to hunt him down, convinced that he’s either a fraud or crazy. The main story is about the developments between one of the team members and the man with the time machine, but there are also a couple of unrelated side stories about what her co-workers are up to while she’s doing the tracking.
What the stories have in common is that all of them are about the necessity of taking a leap of faith once in a while in your life. With no leaps of faith, you won’t get laid, you can’t fall in love and you’ll never get to travel in time.
I really loved this little film. It’s kind of sweet and endearing, but never overly so. I think they’ve only used natural sweeteners, no artificial ones. It’s yet another example of how good the writing means a great deal more for the end result than the size of the budget.
Sometimes movies about journeys in time can make your brain fry as you’re struggling to keep up with the timelines, as in the case of Primer, where I had no clue at all about what was going on. This movie is a lot easier in that aspect, but managed to give my mind at least a little bit of tickling, enough to make me wake up at 2.30 in the night with a snap: “wait here, so THAT’S what happened, of course!”
The insight made me giggle and I had to suppress an impulse to wake up my daughter who had watched it with me to share my findings. When I told her the next morning, she agreed on my conclusion about the movie, but even more on my decision to let her sleep.
The question is: did I? What if I had made a time machine…?
Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrov, US 2012) My rating: 4/5