Save Yourselves! Movie Review
Read our review of Save Yourselves!
A Brooklyn couple who spends their free time, like many of us, mindlessly scrolling on their phones spontaneously decide to take a trip to a cabin in the woods in a bid to “unplug” from technology and reconnect with one another.
Phones turned off, the vacation quickly takes a turn when Tribble-esque extraterrestrials invade.
That’s the premise of writer-director Alex Huston and Eleanor Wilson’s film Save Yourselves! – an apocalyptic millennial sci-fi-comedy that celebrates mediocrity, existence and, well, sourdough starters. (Filmed pre-pandemic, the latter bucked the trend.) John Reynolds, who also plays a self-loathing millennial in the HBO Max series Search Party, stars as Jack; and Sunita Mani, known for her role in Netflix’s Glow, is Su.
They’re believable as 30-somethings navigating careers, the never-ending quest to “become better people” and an ever-distracting world cluttered by push notifications and endless streams of information. Reynolds and Mani play the couple with lovable neuroticism.
Despite being backdropped by an invasion of deadly, fuzzy aliens (the pair calls them poufs), Save Yourselves! is surprisingly endearing. The couple is charming and, at times, painfully relatable – at least to me, a 24-year-old who doom-scrolls on the regular, has “unplugged” for vacation and cannot shoot a gun. Aside from writing about it, like Su and Jack, I too would be pretty useless if critters from space happened to descend upon Earth.
The pacing veers on clunky. The world in meltdown, it’s hard to believe that Su and Jack take as long as they do to realize the reality of their situation… with their lives intact. But this also yields some amusing moments. With an hour-and-33-minute runtime, the flick would have done well to get to the action faster and spend more time fleshing out its climax. The plot, like the lives of its characters, seems to float by.
But that’s part of the point. Threaded between goofy takes is an overall meditation on existence. What matters to humanity and what makes us truly alive? I’ll leave it to you, viewer, to decide if the film ever arrives at an answer.
The film meanders to its half-baked ending, seemingly looking for an easy way out of its narrative. Save Yourselves! closes with much to be desired and ample room for exploration. (And it may get the chance! According to Deadline, a TV adaptation is in the works.)
Rated R for language, you can now check out the movie from the library.
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