Save the Date
Director: Michael Mohan
Starring: Lizzy Caplan; Alison Brie; Mark Webber; Martin Starr; Geoffrey Arend
Plot: Sarah begins to confront her shortcomings after she rejects her boyfriend’s hasty proposal and soon finds herself in a rebound romance. Meanwhile, her sister Beth is immersed in the details of her wedding.
Following David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche (2013) in the Netflix queue was always going to be a tough ask for this independent drama and with good reason. Ultimately, it ended up being at least a notch below the previous movie courtesy of what seemed like a misplaced sense of direction.
Coming from the relative newcomer director – Michael Mohan (One Too Many Mornings) – and starring some very good independent film supporting actors in well performed lead roles, this picture was ultimately let down by its presentation of each of the main characters and who we were supposed to route for. All I can state without spoiling the film is that routing for the central character, Sarah (Caplan), was perhaps the hardest part of the movie. Was that on purpose? I don’t think so. Such a drama is going to be compared to other dramas that present equally as flawed central characters so I may as well kick things off. The main comparisons I have for this movie’s key protagonist are Frances inFrances, Ha (2012) or Lisa in How Do You Know(2010). Sure, the former is incredibly tedious and somewhat disengaged and the latter is just about as much of the typical Reese Witherspoon as I can handle, but they’re both flawed characters we route for despite having equally as fine and somewhat lovable supporting characters in each movie. In this picture, I felt like I wanted everyone other than Sarah to find their narrative solution yet I wasn’t so invested that I disliked Sarah for any reason either. A film like this should have me caring one way or the other, as should all good movies, but it didn’t and that’s a shame because the narrative took on some very important and down to earth questions regarding “coming of age”, the right way to go about relationships and break-ups, marriage, etc.
I’d class this film as about average as far as its cinematic qualities go – I wasn’t as nearly dragged as into the world as I was in Prince Avalanche or an earlier viewing of The Giant Mechanical Man – but it was ultimately the lack of focus regarding the story arc of each character and the way the lead was made to look and seem in the editor’s booth that let this movie down. Even the use of a Cliffhanger ending that I’ve come to enjoy from indie dramas couldn’t save this one.
Got a spare 90 minutes? Watch Prince Avalanche, Frances Ha or Drinking Buddiesinstead.