It’s not common that we at STAGE cover films, but the premiere of SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED was not a common event. After all, how often do we see stars on the red carpet in Delaware? And, although the feature film, starring Wilmington’s own Aubrey Plaza and directed by Colin Trevorrow, plays out on the big screen instead of the stage, its Delaware premiere benefitted The Wilmington Drama League.
Plaza has gone from a child actor with WDL’s Chrysalis Players to a star of television and film. She’s perhaps best known as April Ludgate, the offbeat, deadpan assistant to the Libertarian bureaucrat in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” Her other credits include Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Funny People, Mystery Team, and spots on “30 Rock” and “Portlandia.” But it wasn’t until she was cast in the indie SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED that she would have the task of playing the lead character in a feature film.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED first premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it was well-received. The film’s studio, FilmDistrict, planned a June release in select cities. No city in Delaware made the cut.
“That,” said Plaza as she greeted the audience from the stage at The Grand, “was not OK.” With the help of sponsors such as PSCI and Kaufman Financial, The Grand Opera House, Theatre N, and, of course, Wilmington Drama League (among many others), Wilmington got its premiere, complete with a flashy red carpet entrance.
Governor Markell was on hand to present Plaza with a certificate; he explained that they wanted to name a space in Delaware after her, but due to red tape and a lack of spaces without names already, she would be presented with “naming rights” to any unnamed space in the state.
“Oh, they’re going to regret that,” Plaza joked, before talking about WDL and the impact it had on her life and career.
As for the film itself, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED is honestly one of the best films I’ve seen this year, with an unpredictable plot and a stellar cast, including Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson. The story follows Plaza’s character, an unappreciated magazine intern who lives at home, as she investigates a bizarre classified ad looking for a time-travel partner (the film’s title is a line from the ad). It has humor and heart, and is constantly engaging.
If you didn’t catch SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED on the big screen in Wilmington, be sure to keep an eye out for its digital and DVD/Blu-ray release. It’s definitely one to watch.
Aubrey Plaza’s upcoming films include The Handjob, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III.