After reading the above ad in the classified, three reporters from a Seattle magazine set out to a small town to find out what kind of lunatic would place it and profile him. The man (Duplass) turns out to be somewhat of an enigma. He appears rational and intelligent, but he also insists he has a time machine and that government agents are following him. One of the reporters (Plaza) goes undercover and gets in as the man’s “partner”. This requires vigorous training…of an unorthodox nature. While Plaza pries deeper into the life of our potential time traveler, the other two reporters explore the town and (try not to groan here) confront aging and past mistakes.
I’ll be honest: I watched this because the director, Colin Treverrow, is going to direct Jurassic Park IV and this is his only film. It’s very indie, very introspective, but at the same time has a self-contained element of mild absurdity which it skillfully uses to keep the plot from running out of control. I love Aubrey Plaza, though I’d only previously seen her on Parks & Rec, but she is possibly the most dour human being I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, that’s dealt with in her character’s arc and I thought she and Duplass were actually outstanding. The plot meanders a bit, but comes back together for a fantastic climax. It’s difficult to actually sum up why this movie works so well, but I highly recommend it. It’s free to stream on Netflix and more than worth your time.