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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( 1:07:26)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Additional footage
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Featurette
  • Outtakes
  • Dolby Digital trailer

Serving Sara

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 95 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Naturally when doing a film about serving divorce papers, there are plenty of opportunities for laughs and crude asides, plus a romance along the way. Well, two out of three ainít bad I suppose...

Serving Sara finds Matthew Perry playing a process server getting paid the big bucks to deliver the bad news to people. Sara (Liz Hurley) is a sweet innocent little thing whoís just been served her papers by Perry. Learning if she serves her Texan husband (Bruce Campbell) first from New York sheíll clean up better due to state law, she offers Perry a million bucks to tear hers up and serve Bruce first instead. Of course, hilarity naturally ensues as the road movie part kicks in and there are various stops along the way for situational situation comedies.

Matthew Perry was intent to not play Chandler Bing in a movie here, and thatís just what heís done. No Chandler in sight and Perry is seemingly a one-gag man. His delivery is drier than usual, but thatís not a fault with the humour; itís the script - itís just pretty lousy. Around midway, they start pepping it up with visuals and the crass type of jokes weíve already seen in Say It Isnít So and Thereís Something About Mary. The thing is, they just donít fit in with the rest of this cutesy romance, regardless of Perry not wanting to play Bing. He has his talents for comedy, but I donít think this was the vehicle for him to portray it. Liz Hurley plays her usual perky self, being sweet and getting changed into outfit after outfit throughout most of the movie (Perry remains steadfast in but one leather jacket). She tries to add whatever comic abilities she has to Perryís routine, but it doesnít quite gel.

No doubt the romance angle will have many a young lady tugging at her beauís hand with "Weíre getting this one" at the local video store and he will regretfully replace the battered copy of We Were Soldiers back on the shelf. Still, it isnít all a girl thing (they've thrown scantily clad superskinnies in for the fellas!) and there are some laughs, just not tons. Bruce Campbellís hammy abilities are entirely wasted here as well, unfortunately. He is given bugger all to work with and canít even muster anything remotely funny to do with what he gets. And a sad note on the sleeve has him film credited with: Bruce Campbell (Spiderman) like thatís all heís ever done, too.

  Video
Contract

Firstly the opening titles. Cutesy animation, sure, but relevance to the story? Sod all. Rookie mistake to open proceedings. Just great.

Then the film itself. Delivered in 1.85:1 and 16:9 enhanced, it isnít 2.35:1 as the case states. The picture quality is superb, though itís not quite a razor sharp image - but also not far off. All colours are nice and even and well projected, particularly important with so many cute pinks and bubbly tank tops every other frame. Shadows are good with ample details within and blacks are natural and realistic. Natural too, are flesh tones and such. Again, important with so many young ladies of perfect figure getting their skin out (makes you wonder... all the guys in the film are portrayed as idiotic, ugly, overweight or a combination of these. Coincidence?) Finally, the layer change clunks itself over at 1:07:26/27... it could have been either and Iíll say no more.

  Audio
Contract

Weíre served up plenty of Texan drawls and southern accents co-mingled with hardened New York ones and all come across well, with all dialogue clearly spoken. Music has been both scored and mixed with pre-recorded tracks and it works well without being obtrusive over the length of the film. The score is well written to describe both crowded city life and lazy western expanses as well, which is a credit to Marcus Miller, the composer here. Sound effects are okay as well. A scene late in the film at a monster truck rally (where else?) sounds particularly nice and well balanced soundwise. Plenty of growling engines and stuff that doesnít overshadow the action.

  Extras
Contract

Much ado about nothing here. Sure thereís a bunch of Ďem, but as to value... I dunno. First up, before the film is that awful Dolby trailer of the grainy train. Thereís a regular trailer of the film too. This is the usual fare, naturally.

Two deleted scenes come in next and boy, are they a loss to the film. Pfft, hardly. An optional directorís commentary accompanies these. There are also three extended alternate scenes which were also thankfully trimmed for the cinema/DVD release. Another optional directors commentary pops up here, too. I might as well do it while Iím on the subject; thereís a directorís commentary over the film too, and whilst delivering the usual factoids and trivia about production, itís just him. Therefore: Yawn.

Then the featurette. This is called A Look Inside the Process (like weíve never had a glimpse before) and is basically a 19 minute sell job/sales pitch. And donít forget the standard arse-kissing from the director. Plus the usual making of/behind the scenes look at the set. And some cast soundbites that include the (also wasted in this) Jerry Stiller, Matthew Perry, Bruce Campbell, Liz Hurley, Vincent Pastore and (I kid you not) Cedric the Entertainer. When naming him his parents had his future career figured all wrong, thatís for sure.

Oh, and the loosely termed outtakes. This is actually three scenes that didnít work and were unused (and unedited). This does not qualify as outtakes, Iím afraid. Outtakes are funny, usually. These are just crap.

And so, in closing, a weak assembly of padding and filler to chock up that second layer. Oh, Iím yawning again.

  Overall  
Contract

While this film was aiming at a PG rating, it instantly lost about half its potential. It could have gone somewhere if it was a stronger script and a different director, but instead it didnít. Light phuff at best is all thatís left, with little to redeem it for multiple watchings.

Maybe the girls will like it more than this jaded reviewer, but I dunno. Just when it seems to be all sweetness and light they dump a bullís arse joke on us, or a fake veterinarian gag or some other wholly inappropriate and cheap shot to gather a laugh. This throws the rhythm out and as a total product itís just too all-over-the-shop. Rent it first folks, is my heartfelt advice.


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      And I quote...
    "Serving up sugar coated rehash for 95 minutes. Yum yum! Gag."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nintaus DVD-N9901
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Receiver:
          Diamond
    • Speakers:
          Diamond
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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