Sundance 2012: Know Your Dueling Lizzy Caplan-Starring Wedding-Themed Premieres

It’s the year of Lizzy Caplan. Such a bold proclamation is based entirely on the fact that the Party Down and Mean Girls star has two films world premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, an exciting feat for any actress, but doubly so for an up-and-coming comedic gem like Caplan whose two lady-centric films are bowing in a post-Bridesmaids world.

Last year’s big it-girls, Elizabeth Olsen and Brit Marling, faced a somewhat similar situation – both came to the festival with two films to hype (Olsen had Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House, Marling turned up with Sound of My Voice and Another Earth). But even Olsen and Marling didn’t have the same challenge Caplan has to deal with this year when it comes to her work in Save the Date and Bachelorette – two films, two starring roles, two projects both about weddings. Madness! How the heck will we ever tell these two films apart?

Well, with this handy comparison of every relevant bit of information (and even some not-so-relevant bits) on each film, we will. Consider them Lizzy Caplan Sundance Film Festival Flash Cards. Study up and get your best wedding outfit/snowsuit prepped (hint: use fur).

Save the Date

Director: Michael Mohan

Writers: Jeffrey Brown, Egan Reich, Michael Mohan

Cast: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber

Official Sundance plot: “Sarah finds herself caught in an intense postbreakup rebound with new infatuation Jonathan after tragically breaking the heart of rocker Kevin. Always one to give Sarah life advice is her sister Beth, who is diligently planning her upcoming wedding to apprehensive fiancé Andrew. Both sisters fumble through the bumpy emotional landscape of modern-day relationships, forced to relearn how to love and be loved. Filmmaker Michael Mohan returns to the Sundance Film Festival—he made his feature debut with One Too Many Mornings in NEXT in 2010. From a screenplay he wrote with famed graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown and cowriter Egan Reich, this bittersweet story about the trials of maturing love carefully balances intimate moments of pain and happiness. Delicately captured by cinematographer Elisha Christian, with standout lead performances by Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie, Save the Date charms anyone lost in his or her own state of love.”

Key buzz words: “Tragically breaking the heart of rocker,” “bumpy emotional landscape,” “relearn how to love and be loved,” “bitterwsweet story,” “intimate moments,” “delicately captured.”

Caplan’s role: Sexy Sarah, the rebound queen!

Caplan’s look: Sockless.

Love interests: Sadsack Kevin (Arend) and consuming hottie Jonathan (Webber).

Other possible break-out brides and grooms: Brie and Starr as the soon-to-be-wed Beth and Andrew.

Odds of illicit substances playing a role: Someone will definitely get drunk and say something horrible to another character – probably at the wedding reception.

Animals: At least one (scandalized) cat.

Sundance cred: Mohan has already been to Sundance with One Too Many Mornings and EX-SEX.

Chances of morning-after-boozy-reception regret: Low, as I suspect that everything will come to a (satisfying) resolution after said drunk outburst.

Chance of lasting till death do us part (or, at least, past the fest): Medium. A beloved indie cast will give this one legs enough to get picked for a limited theatrical release. Magnolia, you into this?

If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it: Put me down for an “I do” on this one.

Official Sundance site for Save the Date


Director: Leslye Headland

Writer: Leslye Headland

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Kyle Bornheimer

Official Sundance plot: “Regan is used to being first at everything. Imagine her horror and chagrin when she finds out the girl everyone called Pig Face in high school is going to tie the knot before she does! But Regan sucks it up and takes on bridesmaid duties along with her childhood pals: substance-abusing, promiscuous Gena and ditzy Katie. The single ladies are determined to put their bitterness aside and have an awesomely hedonistic bachelorette party. Armed with acerbic wit and seemingly endless supplies of coke and booze, the foul-mouthed femmes embark on one very long and emotional night filled with major wedding-dress panic, various bodily fluids, and cute ex-boyfriends. Kirsten Dunst is consistently funny leading the talented cast, which includes the delightful scene stealer, Rebel Wilson, who plays Becky, a.k.a. Pig Face. Adding to the tradition of successful bridal comedies, this debut feature by writer/director Leslye Headland is a sassy and sometimes romantic ride that never forgets to celebrate the complexities of female friendship.”

Key buzz words: “substance-abusing,” “awesomely hedonistic,” “acerbic wit,” “emotional,” “various bodily fluids,” “sassy.”

Caplan’s role: Promiscuous Gena! (Is this a trend?)

Caplan’s look: Worried and garbage bag-toting.

Love interests: Pure speculation – Adam Scott.

Other possible break-out brides and grooms: Dunst as leading lady, Marsden as leading man, Wilson as scene-stealer (frozen peas?).

Odds of illicit substances playing a role: Coke and booze, obviously.

Animals: Sewer rats or rabid dogs.

Sundance cred: While Bachelorette may sound a bit too mainstream for Sundance, it does feature talents like Scott and Caplan (duh) who have played the fest before and will pull in audiences. Also? It’s produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, so it will likely have one of the most “Hollywood” bows of the fest.

Chances of morning-after-boozy-reception regret: What, do you really think they’re going to make it to the wedding?

Chance of lasting till death do us part (or, at least, past the fest): High, as this one already looks ready for a big release. It just needs a studio to snatch it and get going on marketing. Sony?

If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it: You had me at “substance-abusing”! I do!!

Official Sundance site for Bachelorette

Funnily enough, not only will I be seeing and reviewing both Bachelorette and Save the Date, I’m set to take them both in on the same day. Cue battle royale! But which Caplan-starring Sundancer sounds better to you? Which one do you think I’ll like the most?

Snuggle up with the rest of our Sundance 2012 coverage

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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