Save Yourselves! Movie Review: Fun, Escapist Entertainment

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Save Yourselves! has one of the best trailers I've seen in years, harkening back to vintage sci-fi classics like The Blob.

But are the expectations of the trailer met by the movie itself?

We have a full review, which, we promise, won't ruin the entire experience for you.

Jack and Su Get a Real Shock

John Reynolds and Sunita Mani play Jack and Su, a hip Brooklyn couple who find that they are far too connected to technology to the detriment of their relationships.

It's a common theme, and there's a reason for that. We ARE too connected to our technology. Every single one of us can understand the plight of couples or families facing the same dilemma.

That makes for compelling and relatable themes, and there are many opportunities for both comedy and drama. Just this past week, we recommended a movie similarly themed on UPTV Network.

Save Yourselves! goes the extra mile, though, by sending our protaganists to the woods in their vow to unplug from the outside world. An isolated cabin with a lot of downtime surely tests their commitment to shutting down and tuning into each other, and it might even drive them a little crazy.

Save Yourselves! Poster

Again, no surprise there. But as Jack and Su get reacquainted with each other with boat rides on the lake and homemade sour dough bread, they're sheltered from what could be the end of the world.

Reynolds and Mani shoulder the responsibility of Save Yourselves! admirably. They've both racked up quite impressive resumes, and they are well prepared to bring the quirky and Jack and Su to life.

Whether bored or angry or basking in their love for each other, Jack and Su represent all of us in one way or another. Yearning to do the right thing and disengage from the bad habit of technology is something we could all aspire to do.

Thankfully, our attempts (likely) won't come at the price of civilization as we know it.

Brooklynites and Technology

While the film begins with the couple in Brooklyn, having settled into a mundane existence without much to brag about, it settles into a nice pace when they decide to go away.

That doesn't mean, though, that things begin to turn around for them with the fresh air and change of atmosphere. Instead, the solitude shows further cracks in their relationship as they realize there might be a reason their faces are always buried in their electronics -- they have nothing valuable to say to each other.

They may be in love, but their individual loves of everything else seem tangentially different. It's when they get the first whiff that something isn't quite right with country life that they start to share the same page again.

City people out of their element is always worth a laugh, and Jack and Su are pretty inept in the "wild," and while the anxiety of the situation could push them further apart, an errant pouffe, as they dub it, begins to push them together.

Wine and Sourdough

Believing a brown fuzzy to be a decorative footstool they hadn't seen before, the couple soon discovers how wrong they are when little discrepancies turn up after a night of lovemaking.

Did they drink all the wine? Did they make the sourdough and eat it all without remembering it? What's going on?

When the pouffe shows its true colors (it's out of this world!), the couple realizes that they've picked the wrong time to commune with nature and each other. Thus begins a mad scramble to find answers and get back to those they love -- if they can.

It's a great showcase for Reynolds and Mani, who are equally adept at comedy and have an easy, on-screen chemistry that makes it effortless to invest in their characters, even though they can come across as annoying at times.

Improvising

Their previous roles, Reynolds in Search Party and Stranger Things and Mani in Mr. Robot and GLOW, prove their talent, but carrying a low-budget flick like this is really impressive.

Because while the pouffe is a lot of fun and reminiscent of classic sci-fi goofiness in which creatures threaten human life on earch, the movie doesn't sail on the sci-fi element, but on the relationship aspect.

Considering the films writers and directors, Alex H. Fischer and Eleanor Wilson are a couple themselves, it's probably exactly what they hoped.

After all, they didn't have a massive budget to create a realistic end-of-world scenario, but they have and could get the talent to bring their zany ideas about surviving it to life.

What Do We Do Now

Their press statement stated they often wondered how they'd react in similar sitatuations, and it's little touches like Su's concern about her contacts while "it" hits the fan that show just how much thought they have put into it. 

It's not hard to imagine their excitement in creating the characters and their quirks, so easily understood to them and us.

Save Yourselves! is a lot of fun and splendid escapist entertainment, poking fun at life, love, technology, and our belief that we can handle anything -- until we can't.

If you have a drive-in nearby playing Save Yourselves! this weekend, do yourself a favor and check it out. It lands in drive-ins and theaters on Friday, October 2 and on-demand October 6.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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