Sundance Film Festival

SAVE THE DATE – Mark your calendars for a Sundance premiere with Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie

Life is full of weird synchronicities. As I sat down to write this preview of the Sundance ’12 U.S. Dramatic Competition film SAVE THE DATE, I started listening to one of my favorite recent albums, Pickin’ Up the Pieces by Fitz and the Tantrums. Toes tapping as I researched, I started digging for information on SAVE THE DATE director Michael Mohan. His first feature, ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS, premiered at Sundance in 2010. In intervening years he made a short film, EX-SEX, and a bunch of music videos for bands including — wait for it — Fitz and the Tantrums. What’s that? Video evidence or it never happened? Well, okay then, imaginary voice in my head:

Obviously Mohan’s got a pretty dynamic visual eye. But SAVE THE DATE sounds like a strong character piece and romantic comedy as well. Party Down's Lizzy Caplan and Community's Alison Brie star as squabbling sisters with very different views on commitment and marriage. Caplan’s Sarah is fresh out of a relationship while Brie’s Beth is getting ready for her upcoming wedding. Judging from the publicity still above, at least one of them also has a cat who is a sex pervert.

The non-peeping-tom-feline portion of the cast also includes Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber (whose latest directorial effort, THE END OF LOVE, also premieres at Sundance ’12), and FREAKS AND GEEKS' Martin Starr. Comic book freaks and/or geeks like myself have an additional reason to be intrigued: the screenplay was co-written by acclaimed graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown, whose work includes indie comix gems like Clumsy, Bighead, and my personal favorite, Incredible Change-Bots. That is one seriously talented wedding party.

Here’s Michael Mohan’s conversation with Sundance’s Meet the Artists, where he describes SAVE THE DATE as “a romantic comedy for our generation.” I suggest watching the video with Fitz and the Tantrums playing in the background. They make a lovely soundtrack.

SAVE THE DATE premieres Sunday, January 22nd at 2:30pm at the Library Center Theatre. You may want to save a later date though — the premiere is already sold out. For a full list of festival screenings, go to Sundance.org.