Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Review: 'Save The Date' Is Light & Endearing Without Being Insubstantial; What Other Rom-Coms Should Aspire To Be

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage December 13, 2012 at 5:03PM

With the countless number of romantic comedies focused on how difficult it is for a woman to find a good man, it’s incredibly refreshing to see one where the tables are turned. In “Save The Date,” Lizzy Caplan stars as Sarah, a struggling illustrator who keeps herself afloat by managing a local bookstore. After dating her boyfriend Kevin (Geoffrey Arend) for two years, she has hesitantly agreed to move in with him to take their relationship to the next level. Kevin is the singer in a two-man indie band called Wolf Bird -- because all indie bands have Wolf in their name -- whose drummer Andrew (Martin Starr) is engaged to Sarah’s sister Beth (Alison Brie). Their first night as cohabitants looks like romantic bliss as the couple tenderly slow dances together, while Sarah warns that she will be a horrible roommate, messy and forgetful. Kevin is smitten anyway, and despite the warnings of friends that he may be moving too fast, he hatches a plan to propose to Sarah during the final Wolf Bird concert before he embarks on a nationwide tour. But his spur-of-the-moment gesture goes horribly awry and Sarah storms out, leaving the entire embarrassing incident captured on YouTube.
2
Save The Date

With the countless number of romantic comedies focused on how difficult it is for a woman to find a good man, it’s incredibly refreshing to see one where the tables are turned. In “Save The Date,” Lizzy Caplan stars as Sarah, a struggling illustrator who keeps herself afloat by managing a local bookstore. After dating her boyfriend Kevin (Geoffrey Arend) for two years, she has hesitantly agreed to move in with him in order to take their relationship to the next level. Kevin is the singer in a two-man indie band called Wolf Bird -- because all indie bands have Wolf in their name -- whose drummer Andrew (Martin Starr) is engaged to Sarah’s sister Beth (Alison Brie). Their first night as cohabitants looks like romantic bliss as the couple tenderly slow dances together, while Sarah warns that she will be a horrible roommate, messy and forgetful. Kevin is smitten anyway, and despite the warnings of friends that he may be moving too fast, he hatches a plan to propose to Sarah during the final Wolf Bird concert before he embarks on a nationwide tour. But his spur-of-the-moment gesture goes horribly awry and Sarah storms out, leaving the entire embarrassing incident captured on YouTube.

Save The Date - large

The next morning Wolf Bird sets off on their tour -- despite Kevin being in a near-catatonic state of shock -- and Sarah moves out, effectively ending their relationship. Almost immediately, she’s pursued by Jonathan (Mark Webber), who knows her as the “bookstore girl” and has harbored a crush on her for a while. And this is where the film gets interesting, because with almost no time elapsed at all, the two begin dating seriously. Conventional movie logic dictates that either Kevin or Jonathan must be the bad guy -- so that the other can be Mr. Right -- but neither are. Kevin is still madly in love with Sarah, so it kills him to think that had he not jumped the gun on the proposal, he would still be with her. Seeing Kevin’s unhappiness makes us distrustful of Jonathan, but he’s a gentleman as well, offering Sarah her space because of her recent breakup. But it’s Sarah who takes action and soon the two are engaged in a wild, passionate love affair. Jonathan is warned by everyone, including Sarah, that she may break his heart, but he proceeds anyway. And how could he not? She’s talented, beautiful and emotionally elusive, a quality that almost always acts to attract rather than repel the opposite sex.

Save The Date - 3

By contrast the relationship between Andrew and Beth is -- as things often tend to be a few years in -- more comfortable, rather subdued romantically and fraying a bit around the edges with tension caused by the stress of having to plan their wedding. It’s passion vs. pragmatism in the different stages of a relationship, which is partially why Sarah is terrified of being tied down. She doesn’t want to be like Beth. Caplan and Brie have a convincing chemistry together as sisters, with Caplan embodying the artistic, motorcycle-riding, commitment-phobe while Brie is the organized, responsible Type-A. The actress portrays Sarah as a complicated character without losing the audience's sympathy, which is a tricky balancing act when you spend half the film breaking nice guys' hearts without any signs of remorse. Between this and her comic manic turn in the other wedding-themed comedy “Bachelorette,” Caplan is really having a breakout year. After a few years of exceptional supporting work on “Mad Men” and the cult-comedy “Community,” Brie also shows herself to be a more than capable of taking on a larger role here. Starr and Arend deliver some solid work too (their scenes together as Wolf Bird are highlights) though the bulk of their screentime is in the first half of the picture and Webber manages to embody the ultimate nice guy without coming off like a total wimp.

Michael Mohan (“One Too Many Mornings”) directs from a script he rewrote by Egan Reich and comics artist/writer Jeffrey Brown (whose drawings appear throughout the film as Sarah’s). Instead of a mix-and-match form of stock characters and situations, “Save The Date” asks a question not heard often enough in Hollywood: "Why can’t a rom-com be based around actual human feelings?" While it doesn’t dig deep enough to really get under your skin, the picture is still a respectable, highly entertaining effort with an endearing ensemble cast (each with their own cult following) headed up by two strong performances by Caplan and Brie. Light in tone without being insubstantial, this is what more romantic comedies should aspire to be. [B]

This is a reprint of our review from Sundance.

This article is related to: Lizzy Caplan, Review, Save the Date, Alison Brie


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates