Safety Not Guaranteed ★★★★★

Part of Dastardly Difficult December: film nr.1

Have you ever completely fallen for a film? For no other reason than that it provided you with a perfect bubble of escapism wrapped in a blanket of charm and warmth?

This is what this film is to me and I hadn't expected it at all.

From the opening monologue I feared the worst. A twentysomething girl rattling existentialist quips at double speed while looking bored with life and the universe. I feared the dreaded 'indy quirk' that I just can't stand. And while this film is definitely quirky, it is not what it is about. It's about life, regret, the past, the future, love and, yes, time travel.

In this gem of a film we are presented with an evolving relationship between two characters that is refreshingly different and unbelievably touching as well. Juxtaposed to this is the plight of another character that is clinging to an idea of the past that he tries to recapture and in doing so learns a harsh lesson.

It's not that this film has a 'message' it's just that these characters spoke to me, mainly the central couple. Their chemistry was palpable and utterly convincing and their growing relationship made my heart skip a beat in sheer elation of the connection I felt to them.

The time travel element is cleverly handled as all characters try to deal with their past in one way or the other, sometimes fictional sometimes real. This never gets overly dramatic and always stays within the boundaries of the weird little universe this film creates for itself.

It's a funny off beat comedy, a genuinely touching romance and, lest I forget, a science fiction adventure.

One of the best of 2012.

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