Dealing with loneliness

I bought Safety Not Guaranteed a while ago (almost exactly a year ago, I just noticed), and finally watched it.  I went into it not really remembering anything about it, or even why I bought it, so it was kind of strange, to start.  But I think it worked out well to approach it that way.

It's a very quirky movie, centered on three reporters at a local magazine researching a story about a guy who posts an ad in the classifieds, saying that he wants a partner for a time-traveling expedition.  "Safety not guaranteed.  Must supply own weapons."

There's no hint of what the expedition is, where or when it's targeting, or who's behind the ad.

The three reporters are technically one reporter and two interns.  And they're all dealing with issues.  The main character, Darius (played by Aubrey Plaza, of whom I'd never before heard), has never been terribly sociable, and isn't thrilled with where that's led her.  Or with her job.

The other intern is doing it to improve his applications (for grad school, it's vaguely implied); he's a science (biology) major, and more than a little bit of a geek.

The full-time reporter, Jeff, is pretty much a sex-obsessed jerk who is using the story as an excuse to try to hook up again with an ex-girlfriend (his first blowjob, he subtly informs us at one point) who lives near the person who posted the ad.

They shortly find the guy, Kenneth (played by Mark Duplass, also new to me).  When Jeff immediately antagonizes Kenneth, Darius is told to use her vagina to allay Kenneth's suspicions (her interpretation of their instructions).

So all of the main characters are dealing with feeling alone, all in different ways (how much different will only become clear well into the movie).

The dialog is pretty funny, and while Jeff is basically an affront to all humans, even his antics lead to some amusement.

The questions to be answered: can Jeff hook up with the ex-girlfriend?  Can Arnau get laid, with Jeff's help?  Does Darius like Kenneth?  Is Kenneth sane?  Is he paranoid, or are they really out to get him?  If he is sane, is the claim of time travel for real?

The ending managed to be both mysterious and satisfying, which is a bit of a trick to pull off.  And I liked that you got moments of vulnerability from all the major characters (though that probably still won't be enough to make you like Jeff).  But it was a good way to spend a bit of time.  It might be a while, but I'll probably watch it again.

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