Title: Save The Date
Director: Michael Mohan
Cast: Lizzy Caplin, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend and Mark Webber
During the Sundance Film Festival, there are many movies about a group of twenty-somethings coming to grips with their personal, professional or romantic lives, while at the same time trying to hold on to something that is completely child-like. This is a classic trope of movies you’ll find at Sundance. So what separates “Save The Date?” I mean, on the surface it has all of these things but what makes it stand out in my book is a certain level of charisma, sensitivity and sincerity. This wonderful film spouts an all-star cast of alternative comedy actors, that will endear and surprise an audience throughout.
The story follows a pair of sisters, Sarah (Lizzy Caplin) and Beth (Alison Brie), their lives are completely different but their taste in men seem to be the same. Sarah is more adventurous and restless, she dates Kevin (Geoffrey Arend) and Beth is more sensible and grounded, she’s engaged to Andrew (Martin Starr). Kevin and Andrew are bandmates and best friends. When Sarah moves in with Kevin, she starts to have second thoughts about their two year relationship. Kevin wants to take their relationship to the next level but Sarah sees things differently. When she starts dating Jonathan (Mark Webber), everyone’s lives start to get more interesting.
The dynamic with all of these actors is organic and wholehearted. There isn’t an ounce of cynicism in anyone performance. This can be felt on the screen. The portrayal of heartache, indecision and grief feels so authentic that it makes me want to find a girl, start dating her and have her break my heart so I can feel something like this. It’s very rare that I see longing in movies done so well and without cliche, that to me, “Save The Date” was so refreshing and honest.
The comedy in “Save The Date” seemed balanced with the drama. There is not one moment in this movie that felt like it was part of a TV sitcom or a cartoon. I really have to commend director Michael Mohan for finding the balance of the narrative, the comedy and the ensemble cast, without having it feel like one was getting more or less screen time than any one else. This tightrope game of filmmaking can easily be ruined if one element overbears another. Just look at all the phony romantic comedies out there. Having this understanding of the genre is key for success.
I do recommend “Save The Date.” It shows that TV stars can shine on the big screen too. Reuniting some of the cast of “Party Down,” thrown in with some cast members of “Community,” “Freaks & Geeks” and “Undeclared” is a wonderful mixture of romance, sex, family and friendship. “Save The Date” does something most movies in its genre tries to, it delivers honesty. Now that something you can get excited for and look forward to.