Safety Not Guaranteed (2012, Colin Trevorrow)

Aubrey Plaza (more upbeat here than as April Ludgate) works for douchebag magazine reporter Jake Johnson (of the similarly-titled No Strings Attached) checking up on a shady fellow (Baghead director Mark Duplass) who posted a classified ad looking for time travel partners. Aubrey falls for him, but he predictably discovers her identity as reporter, putting their partnership on shaky ground. They’re followed all along by the most ineffectual government agents ever, while Jake spends a couple days with an ex and hooks up his socially awkward flunky with some loose young girls. I was happy to see Mr. Show’s Mary Lynn Rajskub as the magazine boss, and Katy was excited to see Kristen V-Mars Bell as Duplass’s ex-girlfriend who leads Aubrey that he’s maybe nuts after all, before she decides to trust him at the end and they disappear in his floating time machine.

Happily, the seemingly time-filler sidetracks actually add up to something. Aubrey and Jake state they want to travel back in time to prevent people they love from dying. Duplass is living in a weird place between past and present, fixated on his ex-girlfriend Bell, who he falsely tells Aubrey has died. Meanwhile Jake is trying to relive his past in multiple ways, by leading the young flunky towards a sexual experience, and reconnecting with his own youthful fling Liz, who finally proves to be too mature for Jake.