Serving Sara

on August 23, 2002 by Tim Cogshell
   "Serving Sara" is essentially a road movie with a romantic element. It's occasionally funny, and there are some sparks between caustic comic Matthew Perry (TV's "Friends") and sultry siren Elizabeth Hurley ("Bedazzled"). Unfortunately, neither is enough to get this poorly executed comedy heated to a boil: It's lukewarm all the way through. What's more, undermining the few occasions the charming Perry gets off a sitcom-style riff--or the leggy Hurley bares her considerable charms--is a series gross-out gags that are at once stupid, disgusting, and out of place in what might otherwise have been a cute and funny little movie.

   Joe (Perry) is a down-and-out process server tracking the elusive Sara to deliver divorce papers from her very rich and adulterous Texan husband (Bruce Campbell of the "Evil Dead" series, completely wasted here). When he finally corners her, Sara makes Joe an offer he can't refuse--$1 million to neglect his duty and deceive his client so that she can draw up papers of her own in a less patriarchal state--and they take off across the country. He's smitten somewhere in the second act, and the movie ought to get wacky and a little sexy at this point. For the most part, it just gets embarrassing as Perry is put through the wringer and forced to deliver one horrible one-liner after another. When he's not devolving to flat-out ripping off his alter ego (Chandler Bing of the aforementioned sitcom phenom), he's forced into Farrelly Bros. territory as circumstances unfold that lead him to explore a cow from the rear. It's just sad. Starring Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley, Bruce Campbell, Cedric the Entertainer, Jerry Stiller and Vincent Pastore. Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Written by Jay Scherick and David Ronn. Produced by Dan Halsted. A Paramount release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual content and language. Running: 100 min

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