original title: Saving Silverman|
dir Dennis Dugan
scr Hank Nelken, Greg DePaul
with Steve Zahn, Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet, Amanda Detmer, R Lee Ermey, Neil Diamond, Kyle Gass, Norman Armour, Colin Foo, Chris Logan, Esme Lambert
release US 9.Feb.01; UK 11.Jan.02
Columbia 01/US 1h28
This pure and utter misfire of a film somehow manages to waste the talents of both Zahn and Black, which is no mean feat! It tries so hard to be funny--and so isn't!--that it's almost painful to watch. The story centres on Darren Silverman (Biggs), who falls in love with a controlling woman (Peet) who demands that he stop seeing his slobby best friends Wayne and JD (Zahn and Black). Well, Wayne and JD don't take this lying down, and set out to rescue Silverman from himself ... with a little help from Neil Diamond and Darren's high school love Sandy (Detmer), who is just about to take her vows as a nun.
Oh will it never end? This resolutely unfunny film tries desperately to be tasteless, but it ends up embarrassingly stupid on every level. It's only watchable because of the promise of the cast. You keep expecting Black and Zahn to dig up something funny somewhere, you hope Biggs' considerable charms will win you over, and you think Peet might cut loose and really bring her character to life as she has done in the past. And there's even a certain curiosity value to Ermey's casting--a high school coach twist on his Full Metal Jacket drill-sergeant-from-hell role. But no, besides tiny little asides here and there, nothing ever works. The story drags along, never finding any pace or energy. The comedy wobbles between flat lifelessness and crossing-the-line tastelessness. It's just awful in every way, and I can't quite figure out why, almost a full year after its US release, they're even bothering to distribute it in the UK (changed title or not). And what is Diamond doing here, for heaven's sake? Didn't he read the script?
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