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Saving Silverman

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Saving Silverman

Starring: Jason Biggs, Jack Black
Director: Dennis Dugan
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: February 2001
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Amanda Peet, Steve Zahn, Amanda Detmer, Neil Diamond

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie review
2.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review ---
3.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

SAVING SILVERMAN, by Dennis Dugan, the director of BIG DADDY, has a poster with a giant-sized thumbs down. Consider it a giant-sized omen, for this movie has more stale leftovers than a refrigerator two weeks after Christmas. There isn't a fresh joke to be found anywhere in the script.

Your reaction watching the movie's grown-up teenagers is more likely to be yawns than laughs. No matter how many times the characters fall down -- I think the count runs into the hundreds -- it is never funny, not even once. When people aren't falling down, they do other "original" stuff like having food fights and making jokes about farts and masturbation.

The story concerns a guy, Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs), who is perpetually unlucky in love, and a woman, Judith (Amanda Peet), who has him under her thumb, hence the intended meaning of the movie's poster. Biggs, of course, is the actor who was once lucky to have an infamous rendezvous with a pie, which catapulted him into undeserved fame. Peet's claim to fame is her body and her sassy attitude. Neither of the two leads are the least bit good in SAVING SILVERMAN. This might be expected, but the awful performances by Steve Zahn and Jack Black, as Darren's buddies Wayne and J.D., are a surprise. Both have previously been brilliantly on the comedic mark, Zahn in HAPPY, TEXAS and Black in HIGH FIDELITY.

Judith calls Wayne and J.D. "pigs," and truer words were never spoken. The script, by Hank Nelken and Greg DePauls, revolves around Wayne and J.D. trying to get their buddy Darren back from Judith's clutches. This scheme eventually involves kidnapping Judith, while trying to reinterest Darren in his old flame, Sandy (Amanda Detmer).

The movie, which is crude without ever being funny, features such gross-out gags as a butt implant scene. There's also an attacking raccoon and a high school football coach (R. Lee Ermey) who literally kills a referee for making a bad call. Stop me when you've finished laughing.

To be fair, there are two mildly diverting parts to the picture. Amanda Peet's slit-down-the-middle, revealing blouses do add an undeniable eye candy factor to the film. And Neil Diamond, whom the three guys worship, shows up for an extended cameo.

As soon as Judith first lays her eyes on Darren's buddies, she burns rubber with her car's tires, getting away from the guys as fast as she can. Watching the movie produces a similar desire.

SAVING SILVERMAN runs 1:31. It is rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and thematic material and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, almost 12, gave the movie * as well. He complained that it was utterly predictable and that he didn't laugh once. He said the characters were all dumb and stupid but not the least bit funny.

The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, February 9, 2001. In the Silicon Valley it will be showing at the AMC and the Century theaters.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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