Serving Sara  (2002)


Starring: Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley
Director: Reginald Hudlin

Rating: PG-13

Studio: Paramount

Review Posted: 1.27.03

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by Dennis Landmann


The Movie


So Matthew Perry plays process server Joe Tyler and Elizabeth Hurley plays divorced wife Sara Moore. If these characters don't warrant a road trip film I don't know who does. The two team up to serve divorce papers to cheating husband Gordon Moore (Campbell), but fellow process server/office rival (Vincent Pastore) tries to thwart their plan. The idea behind Serving Sara is menacingly simple, which is why the film worked better than I initially thought. The previews didn't get me to pay $9 to sit inside the theater.


Serving Sara is essentially a road trip comedy branded with silly jokes and a helpless plot. This film doesn't offer anything hip or new to the genre, but manages to entertain for at least half of its running time. Serving Sara is a predictable mess in terms of writing, but surprisingly the presentation is not. The comedy has its ups and downs, but I made it through the film without fast-forwarding.


Granted, I realize this film isn't up to par with any sort of standards, but I enjoyed this film for what it is: a 100-minute comedic escape if nothing else is available for the moment. I guess this sounds like I enjoyed this film with all my heart, but I didn't. Really. Deep down inside I know how dull and ridiculous this film is. I don't deny it. Serving Sara follows its formula so close that after the first thirty minutes the story begins to drag and scenes last longer than they should.


Perry clearly enjoys his character and it shows. I doubt the character was as hip on the page, but Perry's performance, even though he somewhat sleepwalked through it, contained a fun comedic edge. On the other hand, however, Hurley's sexy accent is not the main attraction here, but her looks definitely are. My thanks go out to the wardrobe and make-up departments. Vincent Pastore doesn't have much to work with, but his character carries some silliness that translates well enough. On the other hand, Bruce Campbell and Cedric The Entertainer are completely lackluster and their talent is wasted in this film.


5 out of 10


The Video


Paramount usually does a good job of creating well-balanced picture quality. Serving Sara is no exception. Presented in 1:85.1, the screen is filled with mostly bring colors, leaving hardly any room for dark spots. On the other hand, I noticed some lines and scratches around the edges, but nothing scene-specific.


7 out of 10


The Audio


Marcus Miller's film score graces the front and rear speakers, creating an easy atmosphere. Serving Sara doesn't focus much on audio quality, but once in a while specific sound effects (and you know which ones) do come off as loud and clear (no pun intended). For those of you who want to know, Paramount offers 5.1 Surround, Dolby Surround, and French Dolby Surround.


7 out of 10


The Extras


Considering the dismal box office run, I didn't except this DVD release to get much attention. However, Paramount proved me wrong. There's some interesting stuff on here that is worth the price of a rental, but then there is other stuff that is not.

  • Director's commentary - I didn't really care for the film too much and this track isn't very interesting.

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette - Nothing special.

  • Outtakes - "Have it your way, dude", but some of this stuff was rather funny.

  • 2 deleted scenes and 3 alternate scenes - Well, I'm glad these didn't make it, otherwise the film would've been even more longer than necessary.

7 out of 10




I'm not sure whether to recommend this film or not. My initial response is "no." Perhaps after some thinking my response can change. You know what, it's still a "no." I'd like to say "don't waste your money on this," but the DVD presentation warrants at least a $2.99 rental (that is, if you can find a deal like this, which is probably impossible, but that's not up to me).


Overall DVD Rating: 6 out of 10




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