By Mark Saldana
Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
An alien invasion premise sounds like the fodder for a joke directed at 2020. It also happens to be the basic premise for a new comedy movie getting released in this bizarre year. Though the idea of a global, catastrophic event might seem inappropriate given our current state, we often have to laugh at ourselves to heal and recover from our wounds. So, I suppose it is quite timely that Save Yourselves! gets released now when we could use some laughs at our own expense. And though the movie does deliver some a few chuckles and cheer, I feel that the filmmakers behind this movie do not completely succeed in giving audiences a much needed guffaw fest.
Sunita Mani and John Paul Reynolds star as Su and Jack, a co-habitating romantic couple reaching a turning point in their relationship. Though they still love each other very much, they just don’t seem to be on the same page. Su and Jack realize that they simply don’t communicate like they should because they, like so many people in this world, are so fixated and reliant on their phones, internet and other technology. They both decide that in order to reconnect as boyfriend and girlfriend, they must disconnect from technology and spend some time alone in their friend’s cabin in the woods. This normally would be an excellent idea; however, disconnecting from the world initally leaves them clueless about a bizarre alien invasion taking place all around them.
Written and directed by Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson, Save Yourselves! offers some very charming relationship comedy, but absolutely feels like it is missing something. Sunita Mani and John Paul Reynolds are both highly likable as their characters and manage to deliver a few solid laughs, but I never, ever found myself laughing whole heartedly and was ultimately disappointed. The mostly benign writing by Fischer and Wilson keep this film from really landing some genuine, laugh out loud humor. And then to top it all off, the ending is definitely a vague disappointment.
I honestly said out loud to my screen, “What?! What kind of ending is that?!” Now, I do realize that it is highly probable that this film is a planned first installment of a new franchise, but if the filmmakers want to really sell me and movie audiences on the idea of continued installments, they seriously needed to get this series off to a way better start. Now I’m sure that the filmmakers had a limited budget to make this movie, but that’s where better, more clever writing would’ve sold me on this concept.
That really is the trouble with this tepid comedy film. The writing simply does not deliver and fails to give talents like Sunita Mani and John Paul Reynolds the proper material to shine. Only time and money will tell if this leads to another installment. In the meantime, my advice to my readers is to save yourselves the trouble and watch another movie.