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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.09%
Worth A Look: 22.64%
Pretty Bad: 15.09%
Total Crap: 21.7%

8 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Saving Silverman
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"It's all a question of losing my standards from the current flux of trash."
3 stars

Despite the inclusion of Darren Silverman’s (Jason Biggs) name in the title of "Saving Silverman," although much of the movie centers around trying to do something for him, the main focus is on the character of Wayne (Steve Zahn). It’s a little early to round up the calvary and head for the hills, but the draught of "good" movies (and by good, I simply mean quality escapist entertainment) is officiously on, and it is most notable through my adaptive skills of what is currently available that I am lowering my standards. Case-in-point: "Saving Silverman"; judging from my relative impartiality to it, although I did not find all of the humor appealing, the movie itself is endurable --but that doesn’t mean that I can recommend it.

A trio of Neil Diamond obsessives are split apart when Darren, a luckless in love, is picked up and hoarded away by Judith (Amanda Peet). That leaves the other two, the silly yet still quasi-logical Wayne, and the utterly stupid J.D. (Jack Black) to try and get him back. As greedy as a plan as that may sound, it isn’t such a bad idea. Contrary to the way the preview neglects to show us, there is no other descriptive word to label Judith with other than bitch. Never once during the movie are we convinced that she loves him or wants to be with him. In her words, Darren is "my puppet, and I’m his puppet master." She neglects him and makes him feel guilty for having desires, needs, or even friends. ("No more sex," she says, although we already know she doesn’t believe in pre-martial sex, "don’t make me take away your masturbatory privileges!")

When Darren’s former "one and only," Sandy (Amanda Detmer) a cute, squeaky-voiced ex-cheerleader-cum-circus traveler-cum-about to be a nun, comes back to town, Wayne plans to set them up and replace Judith with Sandy. When the mere mention of Sandy doesn’t work, Wayne and J.D. take to the extremes and kidnap Judith, and even go as far as to fake her death.

There were a good amount of scenes that I found to be funny, in that overly silly way, as did the audience, but movies like "Saving Silverman" have no conscience –they don’t know when to stop. That comes as no surprise when it turns out that the director is Dennis Dugan, the same hack director who seemed absent in his direction of "Big Daddy." On a movie like this, I fail to see how a director even functions on the set, aside from being a technician who reminds the actors of their spotting and not to look in the camera. As an additionally piece of uselessness, he drenches the movie with a heavy integration of pop songs, mostly outside of, but not forgetting plenty of Neil Diamond.

The script, by Greg DePaul and Hank Nelkin, is mostly all about the physical routine cash-ins. The duo is obsessed with the human anatomy, mainly the buttocks (including a visual of what "buttcheek enhancing implants" look like) and breasts, via a constant array of very revealing and very ugly tops worn by Peet. It is a rare feat in "Saving Silverman" when by the end, certain characters did not at one point drop their pants. For a movie so obviously goofy, it was surprising not to see such a vulgar take on homosexuality when it is introduced in this movie, like it is so often treated in movies of this type. But never once in this whole charade was I ever convinced that Darren would want to stay with Judith. It was too much of a stretch considering the wholly negative treatment, so because of that, it made much of the rest of the movie destitute in reasoning.

Jason Biggs, reinventing his role from "Loser" (this felt like an extension, albeit a better extension, as the sequel "Loser 2"), which is an even further connection to his "American Pie" character (of which there will be a sequel to this summer). He looks much more long-faced and emaciated since his "Pie" days, but aside from his artificiality, his overdone physical schtick seems to go over well with audiences. Steve Zahn is actually pretty acceptable, and for the first time, he actual learns to articulate a little bit. But where is makes up for it in a positive manner, the ready-to-burst Jack Black loses it. If his overdone characterization in "High Fidelity" wasn’t enough to assure you that it is his constant condition and not just a character, he confirms that he is oh-so combustible –in an even less funny way than Chris Farley. Amanda Peet cannot use her physical characteristics to pull her completely out of the ditch here. She doesn’t compare to the bond of the guys, and she doesn’t match of to Amanda Detmer’s Sandy either. And Detmer, surely a cutie, doesn’t do enough to make herself memorable from role to role. (Anyone remember "Boys & Girls?") As for Diamond, who makes an appearance as himself, he makes it fathomable that he is no actor and shouldn’t be trying.

Whereas I cannot recommend this, it was not a horrible experience, and with the lack of movies to choose from currently, I can understand the appeal that this could possibly emit. But the fact that I found myself laughing on several occasions and amused even slightly more than that, that does place it on higher ground than such trash as "Head Over Heels" and "Valentine" –although that means very little in my books. However, it is my supposition that this would warrant even less laughs followed by a guaranteed laugh like "Scary Movie," "There’s Something About Mary," "Hairspray," or any numerous amount of movies that would be considered a real comedy. Funny though how fungible this is with the majority of teen-oriented movies out. Just think: "American Pie," "Boys & Girls," "Loser," "She’s All That," "Down to You," "Road Trip," "Whipped," and so many more both of quality and junk.

Final Verdict: C+.

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originally posted: 02/07/01 09:24:40
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User Comments

5/28/10 wman sheer genius; hysterical 5 stars
5/24/10 Ben You apologize way too much for liking this awesome movie. 5 stars
6/04/09 art FOOLISH! 1 stars
12/22/08 Juice Palomino Horrible movie, absoloutly horrible. But I can't take my eyes away... 2 stars
10/03/08 Lenny Zane Spottily hilarious, but AmandaPeet as villainous fits about like PeeWeeHerman as JamesBond. 4 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner This movie is so funny! 5 stars
5/07/08 Matt Utterly silly but raises a surprising number of laughs. Better than average fare. 4 stars
3/15/08 mousehunter absolutely horrible, but in a funny and enjoyable way 3 stars
10/16/06 Sugarfoot I never laugh at recent comedies but I tell you truly, I was giggling through out. 4 stars
10/06/05 Clubber lang Should be complete garbage, but somehow works way better than it should. 4 stars
8/12/05 ES I've actually had that nacho conversation (pre-movie)= ok 3 stars
7/22/05 tony Nothing too new. So it is a bad one 2 stars
7/02/05 Eddie Just another PG-13 comedy 3 stars
6/10/05 Rock-Steady Fa sho, this is about as funny as a kick in the nigger. what? 5 stars
2/02/05 Jeff Anderson A mean spirited, but absolutely hilarious comedy. Steve Zahn & Jack Black are a riot. 4 stars
9/23/04 Joe Hall Personally, I love this movie. Every time I see it I just get happier! 5 stars
6/13/04 Kayla wasn't the best. wasn't the worst. 3 stars
10/19/03 cinkcool alright 4 stars
6/26/03 Chiend Abominable. Everyone involved with this rancid shit-fest deserves censure. 1 stars
4/14/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty decent. Some failed gags, but the majority of it is amusing. 3 stars
3/23/03 Renee Keener Awesome. Jason Biggs should've won best actor! 5 stars
3/17/03 Cameron Slick Worst Movie Ever. 1 stars
1/04/03 John Aster Habig steve zahn and jack black save the film 4 stars
12/14/02 Jimmy Jamez the hand of god couldnt save this film 1 stars
8/14/02 Bryan Brooks Surprisingly amusing. 3 stars
8/13/02 P.Rodriguez I must admit kinda like it. Biggs is great 4 stars
7/15/02 darth brett this is shite in the extreme 1 stars
6/25/02 Tom Kelley I don't get these Reviews, I loved this movie, Steve Zahn and Jack Black are the funniest! 5 stars
4/16/02 Film Guy Biggs-American Pie, Black- Orange County Zahn- Joy Ride. Much Better than this 1 stars
3/29/02 Renay I loved it, Steve Zahn is the best 5 stars
3/29/02 Renee Keener Awesome. Jason Biggs should've won best actor! 5 stars
3/17/02 Some guy The person who reviewed this has no sense of humor. 5 stars
3/08/02 Diamonds in the Rust, baby! Neil Diamond friggin rocks, man!!!! 4 stars
2/20/02 Cherie I think Neil Diamond is too sophisticated for your review and this movie is just plain fun! 4 stars
2/18/02 Butterbean Not as bad as critics say. The coach and Jack Black saved this one. 3 stars
2/15/02 Carmen Crowe Jason Biggs for best actor! (More worthy than Renee Zellweger for best actress!) 5 stars
1/30/02 Jeremy funny as hell 5 stars
1/25/02 Carolyn (big Neil Diamond fan) Groovy, although coach shitting in yard is over the top 4 stars
1/17/02 FrEaKsO BaBe! it's so funny! although script wasnt so deep..but overall its good! 4 stars
1/11/02 Jenna Its best watched with a sense of humour 4 stars
1/08/02 Spyguy2 Had no expectations going in...funnier than I expected with some big laughs 4 stars
12/10/01 Andrew Carden Jason Biggs Really Failed With This One. 1 stars
9/28/01 HM3 Makes Dude, Where's My Car? look like Gone With the Wind. 1 stars
9/17/01 Bri wacky, and fun 4 stars
9/16/01 chris it was ok... better if amanda peet took it all off 3 stars
9/07/01 Monday Morning Sophomoric humor, but great sophomoric humor. Very funny. 4 stars
8/10/01 chouck very silly 4 stars
5/23/01 Lohsandt Pretty Damn Funny 5 stars
5/13/01 samira good 5 stars
3/21/01 Brandi Terry Sophomoric Comedy 2 stars
2/13/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi But I saw this immediately after "O Brother...", so I was rather jaded... 3 stars
2/11/01 TimmyToday Everyone should see this crap today!!! 5 stars
2/11/01 miyax What the hell...? 1 stars
2/10/01 frankko i thought Black was pretty stupid. he was so much better in HIGH FIDELITY. 2 stars
2/05/01 TDlove Jack Black is awesome, if you like Tenacious D, you will love this movie 4 stars
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  09-Feb-2001 (PG-13)


  13-Dec-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Dennis Dugan

Written by
  Hank Nelken
  Greg DePaul

  Jason Biggs
  Steve Zahn
  Jack Black
  Amanda Peet
  Amanda Detmer
  Neil Diamond

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