Matthew Perry in SERVING SARA, a film about as fresh as a week-old
muffin, plays a competitive process server. As directed by Reginald
Hudlin (THE LADIES MAN), the movie has two good jokes, both of which
are prominently featured in the trailers. One has Elizabeth Hurley
flashing her breasts -- no, we don't see them, only a minor character
gets the pleasure -- and the other involves faking the existence of
a deadly virus in a crowded stadium.
Although Perry and Hurley get joint billing, the movie is really Perry's,
which is a shame. Hurley has a gift for a wicked brand of romantic
comedy that Hudlin never figures out how to use properly. A remarkably
bland actor, Perry is best cast in a supporting role. He just isn't
strong enough to carry a picture, as he is required to in SERVING
SARA. The chemistry between them never becomes credible, no manner
how many scenes they have together. Both come across as so in love
with themselves that they wouldn't have time for anyone else.
The plot is structured as a road movie in which Joe Tyler (Perry),
a process server, is attempting to serve divorce papers on Sara Moore
(Hurley). Tony (Vincent Pastore), another process server, is trying
to serve the papers first. A twist has Sara hiring Joe to serve her
husband, Gordon (Bruce Campbell), instead since there's a legal advantage
based on who sues whom first and for which state. Gordon hails from
the great state of Texas, which is the butt of a never ending series
of jokes in the picture, while Sara is an Englishwoman who lives in
New York. Texas, we learn from a billboard, is the home of Sparky
the electric chair, which has "371 satisfied customers."
The film's low point, a real FREDDIE GOT FINGERED moment, has Joe
helping a bull perform sexually. Don't ask.
"Well, well, there is a God," Sara remarks at one point, which only
serves to remind the audience of a much better picture, BEDAZZLED,
in which Hurley had a decent script to work from. Here, even in a
miniskirt and a tank top with "Trailer Trash" emblazoned across her
chest, she never comes close to reaching her comedic potential.
SERVING SARA runs 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for "crude humor, sexual
content and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it ***, commenting especially on how
much he liked Hurley's acting.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes