One of a handful of romantic dramedies that premiered at Sundance 2012 is Save the Date. IFC acquired distribution rights for a possible release in LA and NYC this year. Despite a low IMDb rating, this romantic film has received positive, as well as negative, reviews. Deciphering why that is has led me to conclude that Save the Date is one of those middle-of-the-road movies, almost quite funny and charming, but something holds it back from really making an impression.
The film focuses on the lives of sisters Sarah (Lizzy Caplan, Bachelorette) and Beth (the always funny Alison Brie, Community). Sarah’s boyfriend Kevin (Geoffrey Arend, Super Troopers) is the front man in a band that includes Beth’s fiancé Andrew (Martin Starr, Knocked Up). Much to the dismay of everyone at one of the band’s gigs, Kevin pours his heart out and proposes to Sarah, which sends her running for the proverbial hills. From that point on, Sarah re-examines her life while spring-boarding off of her sister’s zealous bride-to-be energy as the two get closer and closer to Beth’s big day.
The following months move forward without too many obstacles. We watch as a young admirer named Jonathan (Mark Webber, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) frequents Sarah’s book store and begins courting her. He may seem like the perfect man, but Sarah’s commitment jitters return regardless. Meanwhile, Beth struggles with her fiancé’s passivity. It seems she is the only one in this bunch of attractive twenty-something people who is happy and content with love, marriage, and having a future with both.
Ultimately, the film has its quirky moments, and it tries to weave together charm, mass appeal, and meaning into an hour and a half with some success. It is light, fun at times, with a bit of deeper meaning peppered throughout. But, Save the Date feels static, as well. It is a bit of a one-note film that doesn’t take a lot of risks.