Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: Matthew Perry,
Elizabeth Hurley, Bruce Campbell, Amy Adams, Vincent Pastore, Cedric the
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 99 Minutes
Release Date: January 28, 2003
“That's great, Tony. You're
a regular process-serving savant.”
“What'd you call me?”
who's really good at something.”
“Oh, thanks, Joe.”
“…while being a complete
My enjoyment of Serving Sara had to be based on a
rare element; I had to forgive it for having the lack of an intriguing premise.
It combines elements of both road adventures and screwball comedies, and if you
look at past films of the same kind, the plot may have been non-existent, but
the laughs were always at full throttle, which is exactly what Serving Sara
is capable of. There are countless laughs in the picture, and energetic comic
appeal from the actors making this a very entertaining comedy.
Matthew Perry, of Friends fame, stars as Joe Tyler,
a process server who was once on top of the game. His boss, Ray (Cedric the
Entertainer), thinks he's lost the touch he once had in this business, but is
willing to give him one last redeeming assignment. It requires serving divorce
papers to Sara Moore (Elizabeth Hurley), beautiful wife of a millionaire
businessman/cowboy Gordon Moore (Bruce Campbell). Shocked by the news of the
sudden divorce, Sara convinces Joe to disregard her papers and serve Gordon
instead, for which she'll pay Joe ten percent of her divorce settlement, which
equals to a cool million dollars. Joe naturally agrees.
The two then hit the road from New York to Texas where
Gordon is currently overseeing the opening of a new cattle ranch. Once Ray
discovers that Joe has flipped his mark, he sends Joe's rival, the incompetent
and bumbling Tony (Vincent Pastore) to mark Sara. It won't be easy for the
two, because Gordon has dispatched his own personal security to keep a look out
for Joe and Sara so that he won't get served. It goes without saying that
while pursuing the scum of a husband, the two will eventually fall in love.
The film is, at best, a screwball comedy, and it has some
hugely funny moments to back this up. Such moments include Joe getting his
lights punched out by Gordon's female personal trainer, a scene where Joe and
Sara elude airport security by way of a luggage chute, and a jaw dropping
sequence where Joe, pretending to be a veterinarian, is advised by cattle
ranchers to help an impotent cow with…well you know where I'm getting at.
The huge laughs come, though, at a climatic pursuit during an arena monster
truck show, which includes massive slapstick hilarity, something that is missing
from many comedies today.
The performances in the movie are good enough for a comedy.
Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley strike just the right note as far as
chemistry goes, and Bruce “Ash” Campbell is the ideal actor to play a
scheming, cheating husband, as he has a lot of fun with his performance. I have
to say that I really appreciate that the name Gordon was applied to this
character (lol). Some additional laughs are also provided by Cedric the
Entertainer as Joe's increasingly uptight boss.
Serving Sara proves that once in a rare while, you can have a somewhat uninteresting premise, but still deliver many laughs in the process. I find myself laughing endlessly through this screwball caper of a movie, and I recommend it highly to those in search of some purely silly laughs.
Being one of Paramount's first initial DVD releases of 2003, they have done themselves quite well as far as the video transfer is concerned. The anamorphic picture on Serving Sara is that of a consistently sharp and clear one, complete with glowing natural colors and absolute flawlessness. The picture quality takes very good advantage of the movie's numerous settings.
A very good 5.1 mix is put
to use here, and for a comedy, it manages to do better than one would expect.
Dialogue and music are both heard in pure clarity, and numerous sequences, like
the monster truck showdown, are an outstanding listen and at times deliver good
This disc includes a
commentary track by director Reginald Hudlin, a featurette titled “Serving
Sara: A Look at the Process”, 3 Outtakes, 2 Deleted Scenes, 3
Extended/Alternate Scenes, and a trailer.
Serving Sara is high on serving the laughs at a
multiple pace. Those looking for a good old fashioned screwball comedy
shouldn't have a problem laughing as hard and frequently as I did.