It is hard for a Time Traveler not to look at time travel movies without some measure of amusement. If the film is a comedy, this is as it should be. Safety Not Guaranteed is a comedy and after seeing it, you may feel the urge to loop back and compare the film to what unfolded back in 1997. The movie is worth seeing. The reality isn’t. The reality involves a lot of sad letters and no time travel at all. Both are based on this classified ad:
The actual classified ad was merely a joke — or intended as one. John Silveira (who has not, according to our records, time-traveled) was filling space in Backwoods Home magazine. He describes why he wrote what he did, and the response to his ad, in a very clear and slightly heart-rending article. It is worth reading, though I would caution members of the union against trying this themselves for reasons I hope are obvious.
I can’t review the film, because to do so would invariably require me to comment on the specific accuracy of its time travel model (or whether it exists at all), and that would give too much away. However, I can suggest you see it since it is in the general interest of time travel and reflects well upon the union.