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Saving Silverman (2001)


Duration 1h 30m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Dennis Duggan
Writers/Script Hank Nelken, Greg DePaul
Starring Steve Zahn, Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet, Amanda Detmar, R. Lee Ermey, Neil Diamond,

Elevator Pitch: Three young men, Wayne, J.D. and Darren have been friends since childhood, their common enthusiasm the songs of Neil Diamond. They live together, drink together and perform as a tribute band to their hero, but it all falls to pieces when Darren falls for Judith, a controlling female psychiatrist, and intends to marry her. The remaining duo attempt to rescue their friend, failing until they come across a girl, Sandy, to whom he was formerly attached. If they can get them together again all will be well, but she is about to take her vows to become a nun. So can they save him – and her – if it comes to that?

Content: There is implied sexual activity, although no-one is actually doing it, and a bit of drinking and female nudity (in the version I saw). The guys kidnap Judith, with difficulty since she turns out to be a martial arts expert, and dig up a body with which to deceive the authorities that she is dead. While Judith is imprisoned in their garage, she convinces Wayne that he is gay, and later seems to be attracted to J.D. and escapes and is recaptured a couple of times. They manage to get Darren and Sandy together, she finally in her underwear, but somehow Judith is still in control.

A View: This outing was generally disliked by the critics who thought it was sloppy, and that the acting, particularly that of Amanda Peet and Jason Biggs, dire. Jack Black was his usual chaotic self, Steve Zahn also his usual screen persona, these not too bad, but Jason Biggs effectively reprised his American Pie roles, not funny. So I am with the critics even though I did laugh a couple of times. It is difficult to make comedy that actually works and this is another conspicuous failure, so give it a miss.

Additional Info: in the closing credits we see the cast on stage at what was surely an actual Neil Diamond concert. Fine if the film had been a success, but since it bombed, a bit embarrassing.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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