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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Serving Sarah
Serving Sarah
Paramount // PG-13 // January 28, 2003
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted February 1, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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"So… Brooklyn's in the house?"

The Feature:
What is good comedy? Is it the witty slapstick and banter from "Airplane"? Or maybe it's the ultra gross out humor from a movie like "Freddie Got Fingered". Regardless of what you may think about the two above movies, at least they knew what their vision was, and carried it out to a T. Unfortunately, "Serving Sara" doesn't know what kind of comedy it wants to be. Take for instance a "wacky" scene where Matthew Perry's character ends up having to massage the prostate of a gassy bull. Already, I can hear a collective groan. The scene goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time, and the payoff is even worse. When it's all said and done, I didn't laugh once, or even crack a smile during this movie.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Joe (Matthew Perry) is a process server. It's his job to serve papers to people. His latest assignment is to serve divorce papers to Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) on behalf of her cheating, multi-millionaire husband. Sara is absolutely shocked when she learns of her husband's plan on divorcing her and making sure she doesn't see a dime of his money. As a result, she convinces Joe to make believe he never given her the papers, and serve them to her husband, Gordon (Bruce Campbell) instead. Rounding out the cast is Joe's boss, Ray Harris (Cedric the Entertainer) and Joe's ultra-competitive coworker Tony (Vincent Pastore).

This movie undeniably suffers from miscasting. There isn't a shred of chemistry between Matthew Perry and Liz Hurley, and it shows. She looks like she'd rather be someplace else, and Perry looks as if he knows he was roped into an awful movie. It's funny, but it's my opinion that if you're going to act in a bad movie, you might as well have some fun with it.

The concept of "serving papers" isn't a bad one (maybe it could have used the talents of Dana Carvey instead of Perry). Hell, better movies have been made out of worse ideas. The movie loses the momentum in builds in the first act when it becomes a race as to who can serve papers first. There is nothing memorable in this movie, unless the idea of Matthew Perry with his arm up a bull's ass appeals to you.

Video:
Paramount presents "Serving Sara" in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1. Much like their later releases, "Serving Sara" looks really good. Colors are bright and vivid, for the most part the print is free of grain and dirt, and there is no artifacting present. I just love the irony of a bad movie having a good transfer. It's kind of like putting premium gasoline into a car you've just wrecked.

Audio:
The audio is presented here in Dolby 5.1, Dolby 2.0, and a French audio track. Like the video, Paramount has done a really good job with the audio on this DVD. Although mostly dialogue driven, there are a few scenes where my speakers got a workout (most notably the monster truck show near the end of the movie). Overall, everything sounds crisp and clean.

Menus:
Static DVD menu offers the choices of "Play", "Set Up", "Special Features", and "Scene Selection."

Extras:
Paramount has done a good job providing supplements on this DVD. The first one is a commentary by director Reginald Hudlin. Although informative at times, Hudlin is quite boring. For me, a commentary only works if the one discussing the movie are genuinely excited about the final product.

The DVD also has outtakes, deleted, and extended/alternate scenes with optional director commentary. None of them are funny, but it's always better to have something than nothing. Also noteworthy in extras department is a theatrical trailer, and a twenty-minute featurette called "Serving Sara – A Look Inside the Process."

Final Thoughts:
The supplements, audio, and video on this DVD bump up my opinion of it slightly. Therefore, I reluctantly give this dreadful movie a "Rent It" recommendation.

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