Saving Silverman (2001):
Starring Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet, Jack Black, Steve Zahn, R. Lee Ermey
Comedy; Rated R

At first, Saving Silverman sounds like an ill-conceived movie capitalizing on the success of American Pie and The Whole Nine Yards. While those two comedies served their respective purposes, they also introduced Jason Biggs and Amanda Peet as two young stars who can hold their own as comic actors.

Whenever two actors are rushed into a hashed-out scripted, small-budget comedy, the outcome, though commercially successful, usually wouldn?t make a hyena laugh.

However, this funny story of three high school friends who grow up to be in a Neil Diamond cover band is hilarious.

Also starring Jack Black and Steve Zahn (two loons who are obviously from another planet), Saving Silverman proves that you shouldn?t judge a book by its cover.

So Peet plays Biggs? controlling girlfriend who tries to run his character?s life, and when Black and Zahn kidnap her after she and their friend get engaged, Biggs thinks she?s dead. When he runs into his high school dream girl (Amanda Detmer), who ran away with the circus and is now training to be a nun, Biggs falls for her all over again.

Some of the comic moments, and there are many of them, come from the botched kidnapping efforts by Zahn and Black who seem to always play characters that are actually dumber than they look, if that?s possible. As well as the courting of the nun by Biggs, while trying to balance the grieving of his fiancé, make for classic comedy.

When Neil Diamond comes into the mix and places a restraining order against the obsessed duo of Zahn and Black, you can?t help but laugh at the absurdity of this silly film.

R. Lee Ermey (the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket) has a small, but hilarious, role as the boys? football coach from high school that is serving jail time for killing a referee during a game.

Maybe it was late and this reviewer just needed a laugh. But based on preconceived notions that this movie would be a dud, this reviewer can tell you it is one of the nicest surprises of 2001. Besides, the same guy who did one of the most classic films of the nineties ? Happy Gilmore ? directed this.

Also, the DVD has an outtake reel that doesn?t live up to the film as a whole, but serves as a nice complement and reminder of the crazy scenes during the movie.

? William Albritton,
Movies Editor