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Serving Sara (PG-13)
Paramount Pictures
Official Site
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Producer: Dan Halsted
Written by: Jay Scherick & David Ronn
Cast: Elizabeth Hurley, Matthew Perry, Bruce Campbell, Cedric The Entertainer, Vincent Pastore

Rating:


I applaud Matthew Perry’s decision to try to clean up his life by entering rehab for his various addictions, but I would like to suggest to him that if he seriously hopes to get better, then he might consider a few tenets of the venerable Alcoholics Anonymous organization. Specifically, that one should own up to their mistakes, like this movie, and that he should make amends to those whom he’s harmed, like me.

Now, of course I shouldn’t have expected much from a comedy about the madcap adventures of process server, who hooks up with the jilted wife ( Hurley), of a two-timing, good ol’ boy millionaire, (shamefully played by Bruce Campbell), and I didn’t, but this was just painful. I mean pure shit. This movie couldn’t have been saved by gratuitous nudity; it was that bad. Serving Sara is both puerile and completely listless at the same time. I can’t believe anyone who worked on this thought it was going to be any good.

Perry has a face full of stubble, and a hangdog expression that may bespeak his off-screen troubles, but could just as easily be a reflection of his having to recite such lame barbs, as the one about his rival process server being a “Nostra-dumbass.” It’s the kind of thing that could drive me to drugs. I really doubt though, that Perry could ever carry a good comedy. His schtick is just too limited. For instance, when the movie disingenuously requires his character Joe to open up to Hurley’s Sara, and reveal that he’s really a decent guy, Perry seems painfully contrived, whereas everywhere else he just seems careless.

And if Perry has substance abuse as an excuse, what clouded the judgment of everyone else responsible for this god-awful mess. Hurley’s supremely composed beauty is squandered in the ditzy role of Sara, a woman married to a cartoon cowboy, who ends up running around in a ridiculous stripper costume after her pants get torn off. Of course heaps of shame go to the writers who actually penned this crap, and the veteran comedy director Hudlin, who seems completely unaware of how comic pacing works.

Bottom line, even if you are the kind of person who pisses themselves laughing upon hearing adults call each other “dickweed” and “asswipe” you probably still won’t like this movie, because it’s as limp as a junkie’s genitals.

—Ted Rholes

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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