Save Yourselves!

  • 24 Oct - 30 Oct, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Sunita Mani and John Reynolds play Su and Jack, Brooklynites who require little reason to doubt themselves. Hanging out at an engagement party, they catch up with an old friend Raph (Ben Sinclair), the kind of man who drives underachieving cool kids insane: He's just back from some exotic country, where he runs a startup making 3D-printed, sustainable surfboards.

Su and Jack drunkenly agree to stop looking at their phones all the time and actually do something. They set out for a week alone at Raph's cabin in the mountains, where they solemnly hide their phones from themselves. They hike, canoe and do other things they struggle not to be bored by. They look at the stars at night, and are astounded at the number of shooting stars they see. Must be a meteor shower, huh? Either that, or an incoming extraterrestrial army.

Both Mani and Reynolds have earned the attention of comedy fans in the last few years; each has been well featured in multiple long-running TV roles, but neither has had this kind of showcase. Together, they make the film an enjoyable look at 30-something indecision even before the arrival of the monsters, who are so odd-looking our heroes first assume they're pieces of weird decor.

After they realise these Pouffes move – and they're hungry – they decide they've gone long enough without contacting the outside world. Panicked phone messages suggest the things are attracted to ethanol, which mean they're likely to have drained the tank of any car before the humans can reach it to escape. Still, Su and Jack make it out onto the road, after frantically funny sequences of inept preparation.

This is the point at which the script really starts playing by its own rules – saddling the couple with unusual baggage and refusing to let us imagine a way things might work out in their favour. It doesn't stop being entertaining; and the way the two get past little points of frustration with each other reminds us that the pic's title can apply to both humanity in general and this relationship specifically. Many couples who stay together after a crisis of self-doubt decide they should have a child; others say goodbye to everything that's familiar and start life over. Jack and Su might get a chance to do both, if they don't get pouffed first.