There is something heartbreakingly real in witnessing a wizened writer in his mid-30s demand of an intern: "Why are you sitting there in front of that screen? You're a young man!" That's a truer basis for Safety Not Guaranteed than its origins as an Internet meme, a late-'90s want ad of sorts that sought a time-travel companion. For our purposes, screenwriter Derek Connolly has reimagined the infamous clipping by tracing it back to a sleepy seaside town in Washington. It's there that tenured magazine contributor Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) drags two listless interns (Karan Soni and Aubrey Plaza) in an attempt to secretly profile an earnest if unhinged grocery-store clerk who fancies himself a regular Doc Brown (Mark Duplass). The skeptical trio stumbles onto what is possibly the greatest space-time paradox: You can never go back, except when you can.
- Showing at: Laurelhurst, Academy.
- Best paired with: Occidental Hefeweizen.
- Also screening: Batman (Bagdad Theater. 11 pm Friday, Sept. 7).