Sundance Next Fest: Life After Beth & a Fancy Pants Party

On Friday my husband and I got to go to the Sundance Next Fest downtown to see Life After Beth, a new zombie romantic comedy starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, and a million other hilarious people.

Brandon worked on the social media marketing campaign, so we got free tickets, free valet, and most importantly, open bar all night long! Man oh man, we felt super cool. We were basically Hollywood royalty. Except no one was taking pictures with us; everyone wanted pics with Chris Pratt and Anna Faris (who both looked adorbs, may I add).

The whole thing took place at the new Ace Hotel, which includes the newly renovated United Artists Theater. Oh my gosh, this theater is gorgeous.
Glitz! Glamour! Hollywood!
Lobby ceiling. Omigaaaaah. 
It was originally built in 1927 for United Artists, the film studio founded by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Charlie Chaplin. SUCH HISTORY! If you want to read more about the original theater, as well as the reinvention for the Ace, check out this and this.

(Also even though it's a fancy pants theater, you're allowed to take beverages and food inside. Actually, that may have been my favorite part of the whole night. Popcorn makes a movie so much better!)

Popcorn selfie. Brandon was like, "I'm right here...I can take this picture for you..."
My view over the popcorn box.

It was so fun to meet Brandon's co-workers (all lovely people), and we totally forgot that Brandon's cousin was the film's accountant. So she was there too! How fun to randomly hang out with Cousin Holly! 

And obvs it was just fun to be at a big move premiere/Sundance event. I was thinking about 20-year-old Kara and the first time I went to Sundance in Park City...and how unbelievably excited I was to be there. I was with the people who made movies. I was seeing movies before anyone else could see them. It was such a thrill! It's good for 31-year-old Kara to be reminded that this is a super cool town that affords her so many unique and exciting opportunities, and in the field she is most passionate about, no less (When can I stop talking in third person once I start? Can I do it now? I'm going to stop now.).

So on top of all this, I really enjoyed the movie! Written and directed by Jeff Baena (Aubrey Plaza's real-life boyfriend), Life After Beth tells the story of Zach coping with the death of his girlfriend, Beth. Of course (as this is a zombie rom com), Beth doesn't stay dead long...she shows up back at her parents' house a few days after she is buried, and Zach and Beth's parents (expertly played by Molly Shannon and John C. Reilly) have to figure out how to deal with this situation. Ultimately it is a story of letting go and saying goodbye when you lose a loved one, whether it's the end of a relationship or the end of the person's life. But the journey is hilarious and dark, sometimes even gruesome.

Life After Beth hits theaters this Friday, August 15. Try not to read TOO much about it - it's better if you don't really know what's coming! I can promise you lots of good cameos and some fun zombie stuff...and that's all you need to know!

And then...as if our night couldn't get any better, we ended it with a midnight run to Taco Bell. Brandon's hot sauce even had a positive affirmation for us! Talk about a terrific Friday night.