A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Save the Date is an indie romantic comedy about two sisters at opposite end of the relationship spectrum -- one is busy planning her wedding, while the other is coming off a bad break-up. Expect frank emotional discussions, both between the siblings and between couples, and many sex scenes; they don't show any sensitive body parts, but they're still plenty racy (including some vigorous motions and explicit sounds). Characters drink, get drunk, smoke pot, and make bad decisions while wasted. There's also plenty of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," and more.
What's the story?
After rejecting his marriage proposal, Sarah (Lizzy Caplan) moves out of the apartment she shares with her boyfriend (Geoffrey Arend) and tries to figure out what to do next. Soon there's a new guy on the scene, Jonathan (Mark Webber), but is he just a rebound relationship, or will be the real deal? Meanwhile, Sarah's sister, Beth (Alison Brie), is busy planning her own wedding -- and is increasingly perplexed and unavailable to deal with the emotional roller-coaster of Sarah's life.
Is it any good?
Approachable characters make SAVE THE DATE a somewhat compelling watch. They all seem very real -- like people you might know or might see hanging around the local bookstore or bar. And their emotional quandaries all seem fairly realistic, too, especially Sarah's. Her fears about getting involved might be echoed at some point by just about everyone, and her spats with Beth look and feel like real sisters sniping at each other.
But real people and honest situations aren't the only things necessary for a good film, and what Save the Date lacks is a plot with any kind of emotional stakes. So what if Sarah dumps her boyfriend? Another one seems right around the corner. (And we're not invested enough to care about the first boyfriend.) And if Beth's fiance can hardly bring himself to participate in her all-consuming wedding planning, why should the audience? Caplan and Brie make their characters' sisterly relationship come to life, but the script gives them little to do, leaving the movie with no excitement to keep the audience's attention. Plus, isn't there any other choice for a woman except to pick between two men? It's as if the only way for a woman to be happy is to be with someone. What happened to being happy on your own?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Save the Date presents sex and relationships. Does it offer realistic, healthy alternatives to being with someone? Parents, talk to you teens about your own values on these topics.
What do you think about the sisterly relationship between Sarah and Beth? Does it seem realistic? Teens: If you have siblings, how do you think you'll get along with them when you're adults?
Talk about Sarah's choices. Why did she reject a proposal? Who do you think is the best partner for her, Kevin, Jonathan, or neither?
- In theaters: December 14, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: April 16, 2013
- Cast: Alison Brie, Geoffrey Arend, Lizzy Caplan
- Director: Michael Mohan
- Studio: IFC Entertainment
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, language and brief drug use.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.