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Serving Sara Review

By Shawn McKenzie 08/20/2002

I was very curious to check out Serving Sara for two reasons: it was Elizabeth Hurley’s comeback movie and Matthew Perry’s latest attempt to prove he will have a movie career after "Friends" ends. Based on what I saw, there should be a little worry for both.

Serving Sara is the story of Joe Tyler (Perry), a process server who has had a bad luck streak lately in serving papers. He is ticking off his boss (Cedric the Entertainer) and making his rival Tony (Vincent Pastore) look good. His boss decides to give him one more shot with a high profile case (since Tony has had trouble with getting times and dates right on his paperwork, which makes the boss nervous.) Joe is supposed to serve Sara Moore (Hurley) divorce papers. After some initial trouble in doing so, he serves her. She finds out from him that it would be better for her if she served her husband first, so she strikes up a deal with Joe. She will pay him one million dollars if he will lose the initial papers served to her and help her serve her cheating husband Gordon (Bruce Campbell) first. He agrees and they both go on a mission to track down Gordon. After the boss gets wind of Joe’s scheme, he sends Tony to re-serve Sara. As you can imagine, that complicates things.

For Hurley, this is another role for her to show that famous smile and look hot in tight clothes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fully exploit her comedic chops. She does the best job she can with the material she is given, but this just wasn’t the right comeback role for her. Her last movie, 2000’s Bedazzled, was much funnier than Serving Sara. After Bedazzled, she took some time off to have her baby. This movie was not the right role for her.

Of course, one of the things that make Hurley good is how good her co-stars are. I don’t think Matthew Perry has had much luck landing good roles himself (The Whole Nine Yards being the exception.) Serving Sara is his latest "just okay" movies. I would be interested to see how Perry could handle an independent movie. It worked for his "Friends" co-stars Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston (most recently in The Good Girl; see my review.)

Cedric the Entertainer stands out in this movie. He is very funny, and it makes me that much more excited to see his upcoming FOX TV show. I’d also like to see him carry a movie someday in the lead role.

Before I wrap this up, I’d like to bring up something that I don’t understand. Is there really a reason to insert a gross-out scene in a movie that wasn’t set up to have gross-out scenes? In a Farrelly Brothers movie, gross-out scenes are pretty much accepted, and in most cases, very funny. Even in stinkers like Tomcats or The Sweetest Thing, gross-out scenes are the general tone of the movie. There is no reason to just throw one in and not make the rest of the movie the same way, because it makes the scene stick out like a sore thumb. It just wasn’t necessary. If you see the movie, the scene I am referring to involves Joe having to help out a bull with a little "problem" he is having. I really don’t want to say any more about it!

Overall, Serving Sara has a few laughs, but not enough to waste $8 for a movie ticket. For Hurley and Perry, this movie is not going to take either of their careers into the stratosphere. Maybe Hurley can beg Mike Myers for a cameo role in Austin Powers 4 and Perry can convince his "Friends" to do a tenth season (sounds like a couple of them are game to it!)


Ratings System:


Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

Wait until it comes out on video...

Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...

Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

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