Mar 292016



By: Bill Nelson

This week we’re going to take a look at one of my all time favorite bad movies, Saving Silverman. Trust me, if you’re in the mood for a stupid laugh or two, this is one of the best flicks for you. Released in 2001, Saving Silverman stars American Pie’s Jason Biggs along with Steve Zahn and Jack Black as a trio of life-long friends with a shared obsession for Neil Diamond. Biggs plays Darren, an unlucky in love retirement home entertainment director, who ends up hooking up with Judith, played by Amanda Peet, a domineering psychologist who completely takes over his life as their relationship progresses. Zahn and Black, fearing the end of their friendship with Darren and their overall way of life, make progressively more insane attempts to break the couple up, finally settling on kidnapping Judith with the intention of getting Darren to hook up with his high school crush, who has returned to town with the intention of becoming a nun.

Basically, the movie is about as dumb as it sounds. I don’t even really know how to get across just how ridiculous the movie gets. There are serious pacing issues and a complete and utter lack of logic throughout the entire flick. If you try to take this movie seriously you’re going to end up either hating it or get the worst migraine imaginable, possibly both. It’s best just to turn your brain off and enjoy the ride.

Seriously, a movie where the main characters worship Neil Diamond to the point that that they have a cover band for him is worth your time. Steve Zahn proves once again that he’s an underrated comic presence. He throws himself whole-heartedly into whatever role he gets. I really wish he had a bigger presence these days because he’s one of those guys who can make a dull movie better with just the way he delivers a line. Jack Black is his usual over the top self, but it works, especially once his character becomes convinced he’s gay. The verbal banter between him and Zahn is puerile gold that elicits plenty of chuckles and the occasional belly buster.

The real scene stealer is the inimitable R. Lee Ermey. Ermey is famous primarily for his role in Full Metal Jacket as a tough as nails gunnery sergeant. He’s basically made career out of playing different variations of this same characters. In Saving Silverman, he plays the main characters’ former high school football coach, who, despite being insane, is looked up to as a hero by them. In the story, he convinces Zahn and Black that they need to kill Judith once she figures out who’s kidnapped her. Later, he breaks them out of jail and takes them on a high speed race to save Biggs’ Darren from marrying Judith where he ultimately also comes out of the closet and ends up with Black’s character at the end of the flick.

So, there you have it. A quick, easy flick to ease yourself out of the horror flick season and start getting ready for the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and, trust me, there are plenty of opportunities for bad movies there. Today, though, just sit back, queue up some Neil Diamond on your music player of choice, and watch Saving Silverman. You’ll be glad you did.

Stank Rating: – 7/10

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