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This film achieves one thing very well; it is an expose on narcissism while being completely unaware of it. It's so ironic it's good and awful at the same time. The only likable character in the entire movie is Andrew, Beth's fiancée, and his role is quite marginal. The rest of the characters are completely self involved and overly dramatic. The heroine, whom I'm sure was meant to be endearing and enthralling, but is neither, is an "artist" who is evidently inspired by the most important thing in her life; herself. Every work of art she creates is a rendition of some "monumental" moment in her life. I hated this movie because of each characters' self aggrandizement but I loved this movie because I believe it is a pretty accurate depiction of the prolonged adolescent youths of modern day LA. It would be one thing to overtly address/discuss the narcissistic tendencies of each character but some of the "message," which is so so subtle would have been lost. If the movie had acknowledged the blatant theme of narcissism I may have had more sympathy for the characters (which I would prefer to do when watching a film) but it was never acknowledged, it was presented as acceptable, normal, even admirable behaviour and for that reason I couldn't stand any of the characters. No punchline was funny, no pain was potent, no fear, disappointment or happiness was empathetic. They were all just unlike-able people. I'm sure it was never the intention of the director, writer or actors to name and identify the overriding theme of the film. They were all, most likely, completely oblivious to the subject matter of the film and that's what makes it so perfect. If they knew what they were doing I give them major props for being so true to the nature of narcissism and hiding the theme so plainly in sight. Besides enjoying the unintentional subject matter this movie was terrible, boring, bromidic and cliché.
I had high expectations for a comedy starring Alison Brie and Lizzy
Caplan and boy was I let down.
Save the Date is a basic romantic comedy, 2 sisters with different views on relationships, love, sex and marriage. 3 guys. Angst, drama, bad puns and ridiculously predictable plot lines.
Is this a bad film? No. Is it in any way, shape or form worth a recommendation? No. I can't even think of more things to write about the movie because it was such a generic film. If you love one of the actors involved - go on, watch it - but if you want to see a good (romantic) comedy there are a thousand other, better choices.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kevin is stupid, Beth is obnoxious, the bookshop is boring, marriage is so not cool, so Sarah is entitled to behave like an irritatingly narcissistic adolescent (especially since she is so pretty). No material problems get in the way of Sarah's self-centered, vacuous life. She doodles and it leads to a solo exhibition that even gets reviewed by Artforum. Now, come on! That almost makes the movie veer into surrealism! Enter considerate, whale-loving Jonathan. Although I personally find his squirming body language rather distasteful, the script tells me I'm supposed to think he's cute. There is an epic (as in unbelievably corny) scene with him cuddling the retrieved cat on the stairs. This (of course) signals that it's time for Sarah to settle into conventional child-rearing mode. And sis opportunely turns nice and understanding. Problem solved. It all happened so quickly I didn't even have time to start feeling sorry for the boring characters. Honestly, there's something disturbingly insidious about this movie camouflaged as an indie film. I have an eerie suspicion it was funded by the pro-life lobby in an attempt to get the slackers and dudes back on the baby-making track. The film ends suddenly - because, I guess, it has to, since the story would have turned painfully mundane from then on. (Unless, of course, Jonathan is a psychopath and the screen goes black because he flips and applies a hatchet not too gently to her head when she tells him she's pregnant. Now *that* would at least have made this film mildly interesting.)
Though I can't deny that the film's storyline is overly clichéd and
hence predictable as the story goes, I still stand by the reassuring
assumption that Save the Date is one of the year's most watchable
independent romantic comedies. While the film tries too hard to be
fresh and ultimately fails it promises a perfectly laughable and
heartfelt experience, making a good use of the catchy soundtrack and
its cast of many promising indie-regulars. After a short conversation
with Michael Mahan (during the American Film Festival in Wroclaw), the
director of this picture, I rest assured that Save the Date aspires to
be mostly an enjoyable and entertaining comedy and that's its
Saying that the story exemplifies a real-life one would be perhaps an overstatement, but admitting that the viewers can identify with the characters and the issues that they need to cope with would definitely be all right.
There is romance, sex, marriage, and pregnancy; there are break ups, fights, rock concerts, dances, and parties. Ironically so, the film doesn't seem dull even though it is a mash-up of all those things.
What's more, as corny as it may sound, Save the Date illustrates everything that the word 'indie' brings to mind these days: indie music, indie actors, indie dialogues (words like 'like', 'awesome', 'cool', 'dude' you know what I mean), indie vibe even.
Save the Date is definitely not a movie for everyone. It's more of an evening-on-the-couch type of thing than a real deal, but still I would recommend it to everyone who is in need of a light-hearted kind of entertainment. Also, admirers of Lizzie Caplan will observe how she once again shows her true potential, gradually turning into a rom-com favorite.
"Are you happier?" Sarah (Caplan) is starting a new life living with her boyfriend but she isn't totally sure that is what she wants. After a few months she is starting to relax when out of nowhere he proposes to her. After saying no she moves out and isn't sure what to do next. The whole time this is going on her sister is getting ready to marry his best friend. I will start by saying I know the movie isn't geared toward me (being a man) but I did think it was OK. It is a little cookie cutter and the "twists" you can almost feel coming the entire time. If you have seen the movie Your Sisters Sister this is very comparable to that one although I thought that was a little better. As far as a date movie goes there are better and more romantic choices but this is not a bad movie to watch with your significant other. Pretty much if you liked Your Sisters Sister you will like this one as well. Overall, a little generic but overall a good movie. I give it a B.
Sarah (Lizzy Caplan) and Beth (Alison Brie) are sisters. Beth is
planning a wedding to Andrew (Martin Starr). Sarah rejects live-in
boyfriend Kevin (Geoffrey Arend)'s proposal and moves out. She starts
dating Jonathan (Mark Webber) who has had a crush on her.
I love all of them as actors and like the characters they play. Tthe story is somewhat bland and I can't really say I love this movie. The story is fine, but it is nothing special. I do wish it has snappier dialog.
It's interesting how long Save the Date has been available on PPV and
it's only earned a few reviews. I think this movie will do well on wide
release, but it's likely to polarize audiences...I can see people
either loving or hating it.
It's far from the traditional RomCom that pleases everyone, but for those who've been through their share of relationship hells and heavens, you'll find a lot to relate to here, and the beauty of Save the Date is that it does it in a chillingly realistic, yet touching way.
Much of this understatement is played with an almost desperate intensity by Lizzy Kaplan, in what many have termed a breakthrough performance (it is). She plays Sarah, a manager of a small bookshop who's pretty much "along for the ride" dating band leader Kevin (Geoff Arend). They seem content enough, yet there are small clues early in the film that something is "off", and when Sarah's best friend (the bubbly Allison Brie) is given a ring by Kevin's drummer (an overdue part in the limelight for the hilarious Martin Starr), it prompts Kevin to do something truly morityfing --- mortifying, that is, if you DON'T want it to happen: he proposes to Sarah in front of a crowded bar band audience and she chokes, a hundred camera phone close by to broadcast the humiliation for weeks to come on You Tube.
The majority of the film follows Sarah as she rebounds to a relationship with good guy Johnathan (Mark Webber) and struggles with a lot of very esoteric issues NOT usually dealt with in "light entertainment": is Sarah in love or like with Johnathan? Is she over Kevin completely? Just what is her freaking problem with commitment and intimacy, anyhow? A lot of these questions will irritate people, but they intrigued me, especially as played out by Kaplan, who is very adept at saying a lot with even the slightest gestures and facial ticks.
Add to this Brie's rock-solid true-to-life support, Martin Starr's deadpan ad-libbed one-liners, and Geoff Arrend's music (his song "Accidents" is truly a beautiful little two-minute piece of heaven) and you have a very unique human comedy that could give you something to think about, in addition to something to swoon over.
Save the Date is a very enjoyable romantic comedy with a great cast and a fine script. No, it doesn't have any explosions or aliens from Mars but neither does my life, so I could really identify with the characters in this little film. Lizzy Caplan is the shining light here, as the non- committal heroine, Sarah. She's joined by a number of actors with familiar faces, if not well- known names, ranging from Mark Webber as the new guy in her life, to her former "Freaks and Geeks" cast member, Martin Starr, who has graduated from playing Bill Haverchuck, perhaps the nerdiest character ever to hit television, to credible roles like this one, as Andrew, a rock drummer and future brother-in-law to Sarah. There's also some fine work by Geoffrey Arend, as Kevin, Sarah's fiancée at the story's start. The laughs are genuine and the characters are likable. As in the case of most rom-coms, you will not have to bust out your thinking cap to follow it or guess where it may lead, but then what's wrong with that? It's good clean fun all around.
Lizzy Caplan is always amazing but nothing else related to this film
was. Everything from dialogue, cinematography, characters, etc. is just
recycled material from 50 other films that were released over the past
two decades. The angst, tribulations and self doubt that every 28 year
old film character experiences but none of the real world does, is at
the point of absurdity. I have no idea how these hacks get this bland
trash produced and distributed but I presume special favors are
exchanged in hotel rooms to make it happen.
From a production perspective, I stopped counting the continuity errors, inconsistent sound and lighting and wardrobe errors. I did watch until the end because Lizzy Caplan can make anything aesthetically appealing but I tuned out of the dialogue about 45 minutes into the film so I honestly don't really know what happened in the last act.
This look in on those Young Adult Singles with prolonged Teen attitudes
with a free Spirit seems, Today, dated and worn out. These Angst Driven
Counter Culture Movies and Comics were all the rage, back then. Ghost
World (2001), was one of the best. But this is no Ghost World. It is a
prefabricated and phony "insight" into the narcissistic World of self
involved dullard's who pretend they have something to say, through Art.
The Truth is, these People and their Art are neither profound or engaging. The Band screams...Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Baaaaby(that's all the lyrics). That might have been Cool when the Virbrators did it in the late 70's. She of lead Character Status, is an "Artist". Her Drawings make most Underground Comics look simply sublime.
In fact, all the Characters in this shallow swill are unlikeable and for that matter barely seem real. They are not even interesting Caricatures. Things move along with the Romance part of this Rom-Com that isn't much more than at best voyeuristic-ally cringe worthy or just plain unattractive. The Com part of this Rom-Com comes, and don't hold your breath, through uncomfortable situations and ridiculous telegraphed set-ups (packing dirty dishes because Her new place has a dishwasher). How rebellious.
That's about as anti-establishment as this thing gets as it also takes swipes at conventional things like traditional relationships and Weddings, but it all seems so fake and forced that this turns into a by the numbers exercise purposely, predictably, and painfully going outside the lines.
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