in Movies

“Save the Date” Film Review

After an ill-timed and very public marriage proposal, fiercely independent Sarah (Lizzy Caplan) breaks up with her overeager boyfriend Kevin (Geoffrey Arend). Sarah turns to her sister Beth (Alison Brie) for support, but Beth is too busy obsessing over the details of her own wedding to Kevin’s band mate, Andrew (Martin Starr).

When Sarah suddenly finds herself caught up in an intense rebound romance with the adorable Jonathan (Mark Webber), she is forced to examine her own fears of commitment and vulnerability. With honesty, heart, and humor, all five struggle with the trials, happiness, and pain of modern love. In the end Sarah must decide – is it better to stay safely single or to risk it all on love?

save-the-dateThis is the type of movie where you read the cast list, and you think, “Shit, this is going to be the greatest movie ever.” How can you not, when you’ve got Lizzy Caplan (probably still known for Mean Girls, and you know, Party Down), Alison Brie (she’s working on Community and Mad Men, so she’s got gigs on both ends of the critically acclaimed genre spectrum), and Martin Starr (Party Down, that is all) on board.

Sure, it’s not a movie with a plot that features high stakes (movies about weddings never do), and it doesn’t have any robots or aliens or bath salt hallucinations, but you still expect it to be good based on the talent involved. And yes, Save the Date is good. However, I wasn’t blown away, and I think knowing who was starring in it raised my expectations a little too high to fully enjoy the movie.

That being said, I don’t think the film is a waste of time. It’s got some great stuff going for it, particularly in the form of Caplan, Brie, and Mark Webber, who plays Caplan’s love interest.

Caplan is the typical commitment phobe, but she brings just enough of her own personal charisma to the role to make it her own in a way that feels unique (plus, she can get a little word vomit-y in bed, just saying.)

Meanwhile, Brie, who could have played her character as the polar opposite of Caplan’s (you know, the typical Type-A nut-job bride-to-be) comes off as someone who grew up in the same household as Caplan – she has enough similarities with Sarah to justify why they’re so close.

While those two are great, my favorite character by far was Webber’s Jonathan. He is a wild combination of suave and awkward (those two things don’t usually fit together, but he manages to use his unusual phrasing and general lack of coordination in a way that ultimately becomes a panty-dropper.)

Still, I’m not sure the slightly above average characters are enough to claim this movie as anything more than okay.

Save the Date is not a bad movie. It also isn’t a great movie. It just sort of is. I fully enjoyed it in the moment, even though there were no groundbreaking (or heartbreaking) scenes, yet I seriously doubt it will stick with me emotionally in the long run.

three stars

 

  • Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber
  • Directed by: Michael Mohan
  • Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Comedy