Volume 94, Issue 80
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Comedy is stupid, but funny
Photo by Joe Lederer
COMING SOON - OVER THE TOP II: BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Amanda Peet and Steve Zahn fight it out while Jack Black looks on in this scene from Saving Silverman.
Starring: Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Amanda Peet, Jack Black
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
By Dale Wyatt
Saving Silverman is dumb, but funny.
Sure, go ahead and save Silverman, but at the same time you better save room for stomach-hurting laughter. Depending on what you expect from movies these days, Saving Silverman could easily be labelled "craptasticly" hilarious.
The basic plot and the main characters all radiate a certain familiarity, making the movie easy to identify with. The story line is about three males who grew up together and have been friends since the fifth grade. In high school, Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs) found himself as the head cheerleader, while his constituents, Wayne (Steve Zahn) and J.D. (Jack Black), were a football player and a giant bird mascot respectively.
Fast forward five years. Darren finds himself facing desperate loneliness and reaching a point where he is ready to give up on girls entirely, until he meets the captivating Judith (Amanda Peet) who is a beautiful, cold-hearted bitch.
Fast forward six months. After spending time as a couple, Darren and Judith decide to move in together and slowly, Judith begins to take total control of Darren's life. Her first move is to get Darren to stop hanging out with his friends, whom she feels are disgusting pigs. Wayne and J.D. make it their goal to bring down Judith by any means necessary. Plots and tactics include everything from kidnapping to the recruitment of Neil Diamond.
The average moviegoer just looking for a good laugh will be able to find it here. Acclaimed director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Problem Child) should be congratulated for picking an excellent cast. Each actor seems to fall just right into their roles comfortably and confidently.
One aspect that stands this film apart from the pack is the relentless nature in which the film keeps advancing. The film is able to build the love story without having to smother the humour. It avoids the problem of countless other movies that fall short because the laughing is consistently subdued by the plot.
Biggs' performance is convincing and entertaining, however it is Zahn who steals the show. Playing the brains of the whole operation, he does an excellent job of acting stupid, while thinking smart. Everything from his looks of bewilderment to his body language are hilarious.
The film's script is also terrific. The dialogue and character development are unique and interesting to watch. By far, the most interesting development is that of Black's character, who is manipulated by Judith into believing he is gay.
It's refreshing to watch a movie in which the characters' lives reflect their means. They have low-end jobs and therefore have an ugly house and car. The house is authentically furnished with old beaten-down chairs and dirty dishes with very few product placements to distract attention.
Overall, the movie maintains a decent plot with the help of an outstanding script and humorous acting by all cast members. The end result? Go see it if you just want to laugh and see some good old slapstick comedy, but avoid it like the plague if you are not a fan of the art of stupidity.
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