There's always a moment we face in our lives where it feels as if life is throwing everything at you so fast you barely have time to adjust and adapt to the situation. It's in those moments where you can learn a lot about yourself and how your actions impact the lives of others, and that's exactly the case in Daniel Schechter's Safe Spaces.

NYC professor Josh Cohn (Justin Long) spends a week re-connecting with his family through a traumatic time while also defending his reputation after a complaint is made against him by one of his students.
Safe Spaces is a charming and rather touching comedy drama where Daniel Schechter does a great job in combining two events in the protagonist's life that cause him to step back and grow as a person. It's funny but not in a loud, in your face kind of way, and Schechter also shows a deft touch with the family drama that really struck an emotional chord with me.

Having lost my nan earlier this year, there's a scene that just utterly broke me and it's so wonderfully written and performed by the cast. It's a beautiful moment of accepting loss while healing a broken family. The complaint from a student is something that doesn't resonate with me but it's a key component of the film that I felt was handled well by Schechter's writing. 

Coming to the performances, Justin Long has always been someone I enjoy watching in films and he may be at his best yet in Safe Spaces, cocky and sure of himself at the start before being taken down a peg or two by both the investigation into his teaching methods and his own family, who feel he has to grow up and start taking responsibility for himself. Long is a funny guy but he shows a new side of his acting here for me and it's something I'd like to see more of. 

He's joined by an ensemble of not the most well known actors but they each play their part in making Safe Spaces a really solid comedy drama, Kate Berlant as Josh's sister and Richard Schiff as the patriarch of the family the particular stand-outs.

It may not delve too deep into problematic issues in society but Safe Spaces does face them with the respect they deserve, the personal journey Josh goes on to show that his perspective isn't the only one that matters driving the film forward rather well. 

Verdict: ★★★★


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