Sunday, July 15, 2012

Movie Magic: Safety Not Guaranteed

This week's inspiration is the independent film Safety Not Guaranteed. John, my sister Casie and I went to see this movie on the strength of its excellent trailer. Check it out below.

The stand out part of this movie is the dialogue, which is witty, sharp and riveting. This is the story of a sad girl who meets a crazy guy and finds out that crazy is all a matter of perspective. Love, regret, growing up and getting by weave back and forth neatly between the lines. That the movie manages to capture your heart and imagination, while delivering moments that are hilarious is a true feat.

The premise on which the entire story  sits is a classified ad that reads:

WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

Everything about this ad, from the words to the topic, make me want to know who wrote it and why. It's no surprise that a ragtag group of reporters head off to the beach community from which it originated to figure it out. The smart banter between the characters, the way they grow and change and an unexpected twist ending are surprising in every wonderful way imaginable.

I learned three important lessons for my own writing from this amazing little film:

1.  Comedy and drama can be entwined together with well developed characters.
2. Dialogue can carry your audience through and keep them on the edge of their seats.
3. Unexpected endings leave your audience dreaming of new beginnings.