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 Yourselves! is a sci-fi survival comedy that pokes fun at Millennial culture. It plays on a premise many have joked about: How would Millennials survive an alien apocalypse? Su (Sunita Mani) and Jack (John Reynolds) go on a device-free vacation in upstate New York and, therefore, don't get the news that murderous aliens have attacked. (In fact, the movie's message might be to always, always have your device turned on!) While the aliens do kill humans, the extraterrestrials look deceptively harmless (think of a Tribbles-like creature), and the deaths occur in a comically unrealistic fashion. Su and Jack drink and smoke pot, and it's implied that they have sex, but only kissing is shown. Occasional strong language includes "ass" and "f--k."
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In SAVE YOURSELVES!, Su (Sunita Mani) and Jack (John Reynolds) plan an unplugged getaway in the country to grow their relationship. Thanks to their vow to leave phones, emails, and laptops untouched for the week, they're blissfully unaware of the alien invasion terrorizing Earth.
Is it any good?
This far-out comedy is a laugh blaster, with the humor coming from the reality of how two Brooklyn hipsters would survive in an apocalyptic situation. When Su and Jack, who have careers in the digital world, get the opportunity to take a week in the country, they make the conscious choice to leave their devices off and work on their relationship. Still, Su can't get a conversation started without relying on material she got from the internet, and Jack is self-conscious about his self-described "modern man" way of life: He doesn't know how to drive a stick, build anything, or fire a gun. When the alien invasion occurs, they're completely out of their element; as Su says, "I have no skills."
What's savagely clever is that Save Yourselves! isn't about the aliens; it's about Su and Jack's relationship. How they relate and talk to each other is snort-laughingly accurate. The aliens are just a device to show how they interact as a team when the stress and stakes are high. While their survival skills are soft, their communication skills and teamwork are strong. The film weakens when writer-directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson back themselves into a corner with the story and must address the end of the world. Instead of a third act, it's like a five-minute button. Abandoning the rules of screenwriting can be welcome, but in this case, it seems the writers spaced out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Su and Jack's communication skills. How does it help them escape? What skills do you have that would help you survive in the wilderness?
Why is it significant that Save Yourselves! cast an Indian-American woman as a romantic lead? Why is representation in the media important?
How does the film parody Millennials while also laughing with them? Is it possible to poke fun at a group of people while not being mean?
How are the movie's deaths handled so as to not actually be violent?
- In theaters: October 2, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: October 6, 2020
- Cast: Sunita Mani, John Reynolds, Ben Sinclair
- Directors: Alex Huston Fischer, Eleanor Wilson
- Studio: Bleecker Street
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Communication, Teamwork
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language
- Last updated: November 3, 2020
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