Consider this “Plan iPhone 9 from Outer Space.”
“Save Yourselves” is a different kind of alien movie that plays like an independent version of “War of the Worlds.” It’s also an honest and flexible comedy that satires what happens if you detach yourself from social media. A lot is going on with the world with the current wildfires, Covid-19 pandemic, and the election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and if you don’t watch the news on TV or online, then you’re missing on the important facts.
The movie takes that approach with a certain vibe that keeps you involved and has you laughing at the dark comedy, and rooting for the characters to fight for survival.
We meet the millennial Brooklyn couple, Su (Sunita Mani from “GLOW”) and Jack (John Reynolds from “Stranger Things”), who both decide to spend a week in a friend’s cabin with no internet, no TV, and no social media of any kind. They plan to reconnect their relationship without looking at their phones and so forth. Su uses a book that could help them out, while Jack accuses her of using it as an a substitute for her phone. He comes through and admits to her that he wishes he could be more manly like his father, while she claims she eats her contacts lens. Now, the couple are happy with themselves again.
That is until they discover that Earth has been attacked by aliens. These aliens look like little puff balls with frog-like tongues that can pierce you with one fell swoop. That’s even how they can drink the gas tank in your cars. At least I think they’re tongues. They may look cute with its choices of pink, purple, and brown fur, but trust me, they’re deadly.
So, the couple must fight for survival, and they come across one obstacle after another. The levity and drama for the situations thrives on the screenplay, and eases back those typical alien movie cliches.
A few dull spots here and there don’t kill my enjoyment for “Save Yourselves.” It may have some special effects, but they don’t consume the movie, and I admire its low key tone. It starts off as an Indie comedy and finishes as a Sci-Fi comedy with jokes you can easily relate to. The funniest gag to me is when Jack notices a puff ball speeding past his window and thinks it’s a hedgehog, using Sonic as his reference. I just love the way the dialogue and scene was handled.
Never hearing these names before, I was eagerly impressed by the performances by Mani and Reynolds. They portray characters in familiar territories finding themselves with familiar situations, and even the unfamiliar ones if you count these puff balls. They’re very funny, but they’re also very sweet. Filmmakers Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson, both in their feature debuts, write these two characters with realism and versatility.
It makes sense for “Save Yourselves” to be released in both theaters and online, given its tone and timely fashion. We’re all trying to survive this pandemic, and social media may be our only source of info. It’s about adapting to your surroundings, and the movie lampoons that on a balanced level. You’re in for some fun.
Now Playing in Select Theaters and Streaming on Various Services.
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