Saving Silverman

Review Date:
Director: Dennis Dugan
Writer: Hank Nelken and Greg DePaul
Producers: Warren Carr
Jason Biggs as Darren Silverman
Amanda Peet as Judith
Jack Black as J.D.
Steve Zahn as Wayne
Three life-long friends grow up to be big losers who can’t get laid to save their lives. Then one day, one of them meets the apparent girl of his dreams. But when he dumps his friends for her, his buddies realize that he needs their help, so they decide to kidnap her and set their old chum up with another nicer girl. Wackiness ensues.
To put it simply: this film’s best jokes are in the trailer. The movie as a whole works on some levels, fails miserably in others, but generally keeps you pretty attentive, despite its lulls. Credit the two-some of Steve Zahn and Jack “the mac” Black, for taking the movie from its ho-hum spot in the universe, and giving you enough black comedy (no pun intended), to qualify as an “okay” time-killer for a cheapie video night. In fact, other than the film’s originality, which is actually pretty high (kidnapping your best friend’s girlfriend because you don’t think she’s right for him?), and some of the nutty behavior of the aforementioned duo, I can’t really say that much else about the movie excited me. Sure, Amanda Peet is great in her typical sexy, alluring, bitchy way (and you even get a couple of side-shots of her “peets”), but Jason Biggs is just plain boring, and his whole “nice dumb guy” routine is seriously getting stale! Every time the movie switched from the kidnapping end to the Biggs searching for his true love scenario, things just came to a halt. Mind you, this ain’t really Biggs’ fault, since he doesn’t really have the punchy dialogue in this flick, but you get my drift. Back and forth, back and forth, and even all the gags from the funny end of the movie, didn’t all work.

Thankfully, this film is not as idiotic as some of the predictable garbage that we’ve been receiving early on this year, with enough over-the-top black comedy to placate some of my cinematic yearnings, but not enough for me to recommend it to another. In fact, the Mrs. thought it all-out blew, especially since she doesn’t really appreciate the “black comedy” shtuff. For me, granted, I had a few laughs, and a lot of smiles here and there, but there were way too many flat moments in which it was obvious that a laugh was supposed to be extracted from the crowd, but only silence ensued. Especially some of the slap-stick stuff, which felt out of place. I think that if the filmmakers would have stuck to the dark element of the two friends kidnapping the girlfriend and their entanglements, the film might’ve become one big hoot, but they seemed to want to appease too many people with this picture. Let’s give the teens some gross-out humor, slap Neil Diamond in there for the elders (is anyone from our generation supposed to remember or care about the big D?) and drive a little romance home for the ladies in the crowd. Ixnay on the spreading yourselves too thin there, boys! Overall, I can’t really say that this film sucked the big one, but it honestly didn’t do much for me either. Especially since the trailer did have some fun stuff in it. A video rental at best!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Saving Silverman