ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  dennis dugan

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  90 minutes

RELEASED  -  9 february 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  columbia pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  saving silverman

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $22,000,000
saving silverman - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from saving silverman at

buy the dvd from saving silverman at

a pair of buddies conspire to save their best friend from marrying the wrong woman.

in the theatrical trailer a pair of blue briefs were digitally painted onto steve zahn in one scene because the mpaa said the scene was too revealing for general audiences.


picture from saving silverman

picture from saving silverman

picture from saving silverman


zero out of four possible stars

Two people brought together by the healing power of a Neil diamond song. Itís a sad day when a film must resort to such tactics as part of its storytelling. It's too bad that the humor in this film isn't humorous. The machinations gone through by the characters in this film are almost too painful to watch. None of the actors in this film was at his/her best, considering that earlier films have proven that there is some talent in this group of people. Even Jack Black, comedy genius that he is, isn't given a chance to shine in this film. Heís usually stuck with uninteresting dialogue and a boring story.

Though, ironically, jack and fellow heckler Steve Zahn are the most entertaining components to this story. As far as Amanda Peet's performance as the "devil woman" who wants to marry Jason Biggs, her character is supposed to be some reviled b**ch, but aside from her horrific clothing choices, she's not that much of an antagonist. In fact, none of the people in this film can really fill that role.The film is quite unbalanced in that it doesn't ramble on like a normal film.

There's no forward progression of events. The characters don't change emotionally and all the stupid (I use that word literally) scenes in the film serve only to get laughs out of the audience. The characters find their conflict in one another at the beginning of the film, but they never move on from that point. It's as if this film shows the audience the problem for these characters and then never seeks to fix it. The film just rolls along for an hour and a half with Zahn and black trying their best to be funny. And, granted, sometimes they hit the mark, but their scenes lack the originality both stars have showed in other films.

The comedy after a while becomes stupid, rather than just "unfunny." Sure, there were times when films like Dumb and Dumber and American Pie weren't funny, but somewhere in those films, the story moved on. In Saving Silverman, the whole thing is just stalled. It gets to the point where watching these characters (Zahn and Black) go through the machinations of trying to boot Amanda Peet's character out of the picture becomes painful. Though that's quite a pronouncement on two actors who between them have more than enough talent, this film doesn't show their abilities in a fair light.

It might be wiser to blame the director and screenwriter in this case, i.e., the people behind the camera, rather than the actors themselves. If a better script had been produced to begin with, perhaps some more creativity could have been shown on the set. But this film is like the plot of American pie 2. There isn't one. The film is just an excuse to show of Amanda Peet's strange clothing and the comic genius of Jack Black and Steve Zahn. Except that the lack of a coherent story makes this film pretty boring. The little comedic stunts engaged in by the cast just can't fill up the movie.

The essential parts: story and plot, are both missing and no matter how funny a pair of actors are, comedy alone cannot make a film. Even a stand-up routine needs to have a little bit of personal information or story attached to it. And it's certain that a feature film requires it. And to shift more blame onto the cast and crew of this movie, it should be noted that the actor in the title role of 'Silverman,' Jason Biggs, doesn't give any sort of stand out performance. In fact, his role doesn't carry with it a lot of sympathy. It the audience isn't sympathetic to the main character (or protagonist's) plight, the entire reason for the movie's existence becomes moot.

It must be pointed out, that the side-kicks in this film, the characters played by Steve and jack, carry with them more weight than the title role. Perhaps the focus of the movie was supposed to be on this so-called comedic relief, but again, the filmmakers have made a crucial mistake. The comedic sidekick, by its very nature, cannot be considered the main character of the movie. And since this film shifts its focus so much from these sidekicks to the bland acting of Jason Biggs, the film doesn't have a true protagonist and therefore has no real focus.

But this aspect just falls in sync with the lack of plot and story. So really, all the failures of this film: plot, character, story, creativity, wardrobe (trust me, Amanda Peet looked like she'd been clothed by a blind person), create a movie that's not much to look at and lacks any sort of intrigue. The comedic sidekicks aren't comedic. The protagonist isn't sympathetic. The story stalls around minute four. And the whole package isn't worth the price of lighter fluid. As a comedy, it's not funny and in fact, it more resembles a tragedy.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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