Saving Silverman

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Dennis Dugan
Writers:Greg DePaul, Hank Nelken
Columbia and Village Roadshow; PG-13; 105 minutes
Cast:Amanda Peet, Jason Biggs, Jack Black, Steve Zahn

The event from which Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs) must be saved is marriage to an attractive, intelligent, ambitious woman named Judith (Amanda Peet). Indolent burnouts (Steve Zahn and Jack Black) take it upon themselves to perform their friend's rescue operation. Frantic, spitefully anti-female slapstick marks their performance. Zahn (Happy, Texas) and Black High Fidelity) have demonstrated truly funny repartee in other movies, but the crassness of this one may dog them for a while. Black falls furthest to land squarely in Chris Farley's shadow.

Saving Silverman sidelines character depth for sight gags and pubescent humor. The weight-lifting girl who wants to be a nun gets debased, Silverman's buddies get drunk, and Amanda Peet's imperious persona gets forced into revealing clothes at every opportunity. In this film's world view, her refusal to reciprocate sexual favors warrants the subsequent murder attempt. As with all high-testosterone gatherings, there is a considerable amount of unexamined homoeroticism. In contrast, Saving Silverman's moral lesson is clear: independent women must be subjugated.

One of the comedy's only successful gags revolves around a Neil Diamond cover band and the singer himself. Yes, retro-fueled cameos are vaguely sad for everybody involved, but even Neil Diamond is fresher than comedy based on frat boys' fear of the opposite sex.

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