★★★★☆Admittedly, a "time-travelling indie comedy" may not be the most appealing concept upon first glance, but much like the characters in this charmingly offbeat yarn, initial perceptions differ from what is eventually achieved. On the strength of Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) alone, director Colin Trevorrow was given the plump gig of bringing Jurassic World (2015) to the big screen. It's a huge leap in scope for the neophyte filmmaker, but after witnessing what he's managed to do with this material it's easy to see what attracted Spielberg. Aubrey Plaza plays Darius, a college graduate and under-appreciated magazine intern.
What could so easily have been annoyingly twee in less capable hands instead manages to be touching, heart-felt and enthralling. It's an assured debut from Trevorrow, who's much more cognisant towards character than spectacle, and manages to skilfully maintain the ambiguity around Kenneth throughout. He's aided and abetted by a fine cast and the script by Derek Connolly allows for Duplass, Johnson and Plaza to bring a welcoming pathos to their characters, amongst the more outwardly eccentric moments. Successfully straddling the line between two ostensibly mismatched genres, Safety Not Guaranteed is the kind of American indie which could well revive your jaded heart and leave a grin plastered across your face.