Monday, April 16, 2012


Directed by: Michael Mohan
Written by: Michael Mohan, Jeffrey Brown, and Egan Reich
Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Geoffrey Arend, Martin Starr, and Mark Webber.
Synopsis: Two sisters work through life, love, and relationships. 

Relationships seem to be such a tricky thing nowadays. The standard "rules" in terms of dating, moving in together, engagement, and marriage are being thrown out the window by most of Generation Y-ers. My group of twenty-somethings seem to no longer bide by the a lot of the standards our parents set. It's not that strange now to be unmarried in your late 20's, but not even 15 years ago, that was considered odd. SAVE THE DATE explores various relationships from the Generation Y perspective.

Sarah (Lizzy Caplan playing a very Caplan role) is a fiercely independent artist who is about to move in with her boyfriend, Kevin (Geoffrey Arend). Beth (Alison Brie) is her semi-neuritic sister who is engaged to Andrew (Martin Starr), Kevin's best friend and the second half of their band, Wolfbirds. Sarah struggles with jumping into the next phase of her relationship with Kevin because after all, they have been dating for two years and moving in is obviously the next step right? Kevin wholeheartedly believes that. Sarah is not so sure, but agrees anyways. After a week of living together, he decides to pop the question during the encore of one of his band's gigs. And like all good awkward proposals, what does Sarah do? You guessed it, run out on him. Now, I'm not knocking Sarah's choice because her uneasiness about taking the next step and non belief of marriage had been apparent since she moved in, but that scene was a tad cliche.

Even though there were certain romantic comedy beats the movie had to hit, there was a certain charm about the movie that I couldn't escape. At first I was utterly annoyed with Sarah. She's a manager at a hip bookstore while moonlighting as an artist (think more web comic than paintings), doesn't seem to struggle paying bills, and has a nice relationship with her hipster-rocker boyfriend. Even after they break up, she rebounds with a frequent customer, Jonathan (Mark Webber), who is even more (ridiculously) perfect than her ex and shares her views on marriage. But every time when things seem to be going her way, she messes it up for herself because she apparently wants to be in a constant state of angst. Maybe it helps her with her art or maybe she just has to be somewhat miserable all the time? And even though she is, for the most part, total opposite of me, I understand and know many, many like her.

Not far from her side dealing with her own life and helping picking up the pieces of her sister's is Beth. Beth could have easily been a very static, even more annoying side character, but Brie was able to give her real depth. At first, she comes off as supportive yet kind of bossy, and she is, but as the movie went on, her relationship with her fiancee became my favorite to watch. In this type of coming-of-age genre, it's easy for the established couple to get sucked in and begin questioning their relationship because all of their friends' lives are falling apart around them. However, the cleverness of the script let's Andrew and Beth have their spats about various topics--Sarah, wedding details, and if it's okay for the band to still play at the reception since Beth and Kevin are broken up--but they actually communicate and find a compromise. Quite a refreshing relationship to watch.

The more I thought about this film, the more it grew on me. Sure, I complain about Caplan's character, but that's just because I cannot relate. However, I know there are man gals out there, like Sarah, struggling to find their place as an independent, pragmatic person. Even though Sarah's choices seemed completely foreign to me because, seriously, many of these problems could have been fixed but just talking, I found many other characters and situations to relate to. Overall, SAVE THE DATE has a certain inalienable charm about it. A definitely better addition to the twenty-something genre.

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