Christian Movie Reviews - Family Friendly Entertainment

Hurley Drags Down a Lifeless Serving Sara

  • Holly McClure Movie Reviewer
  • 2002 30 Jun
Hurley Drags Down a Lifeless <I>Serving Sara</I>
Serving Sara - PG-13

Best for: Adults who enjoy romantic comedies.

The plot: Joe Tyler (Matthew Perry) is a New York process server who gets one more chance to hold onto his job by attempting to serve Sara Moore (Elizabeth Hurley) with divorce papers. When Joe serves a surprised Sara her papers, he learns that her conniving millionaire husband, Gordon (Bruce Campbell), is a wealthy Texas cattle rancher who stands to lose a fortune if he's served first. The two decide to go after Gordon for the money, for fun and for revenge. Gordon gets wise to their plan and sends another process server (Vincent Pastore) to track the two down and serve Sara first, giving Gordon the advantage in the divorce. In the end, Joe and Sara view love and each other in a completely different way.

The good: I enjoy watching Perry because he can make the simplest scenes funny with just a simple smirk or look, and his comedic timing is usually right on. Sadly, he never gets much of a chance to use his skills in this movie because the script simply isn't funny. Perry carries most of the movie and still manages to get a couple of laughs with his deadpan delivery and witty sarcasm.

The bad: This entire plot is built around the idea that a wealthy Texas cattle rancher wants to serve his wife with divorce papers in New York because the laws are different and more favorable for his wealthy schemes. Although this romantic comedy starts off with a plausible hook, the story quickly loses steam and credibility with clichéd characters (Texans who act and sound stupid and New Yorkers who are rude and crass) and silly chase scenes. Not for a minute do you believe Hurley's character loved her husband, and we know from the start that the husband is having an affair and doesn't love his wife. The plot revolves around a game of divorce more than a real relationship, setting the tone for Hurley to meet someone she can "really love."

There are several reasons why this movie fails, but one of the biggest is simply this: Elizabeth Hurley can't act. She's a beautiful woman who's stunning in close-ups, has a fabulous British accent and looks good in clothes, but the woman can't act. Not only does she have a problem with anything more than a one-dimensional character, but her inability to say her lines without sounding like she has marbles in her mouth and her habit of protruding her upper lip out when she says certain words is distracting and annoying. I spent more time focused on Hurley's collagen lips than on listening to her lines. Aside from Hurley, blame has to fall on the screenwriters for writing such a horrible script and Director Reginald Hudlin for "serving" up a mess like Sara in the first place.

Offensive language and behavior: An abundant amount of crude humor and language ruins the lighter comedy in this story. Numerous obscenities, vulgar behavior, discussions about sexual issues and religious profanity.

Sexual situations: Sexual innuendoes, comments and implied situations are all through this movie. Hurley is seen in skimpy clothing and underwear in a couple of bedroom and bath scenes. A couple of scenes involve Gordon's girlfriend talking about how she and Gordon are having an affair. One of the more bizarre scenes that I've ever seen in a movie has Perry pretending to be a vet and inserting his gloved fist into the rear end of a bull (a tail wags in his face but nothing explicit is shown only implied). The idea is to ultimately excite the bull and produce sperm for breeding purposes (a fake cow is shown standing in front of the bull). The scene is mainly done with noises and movement, but it's still disgusting and seems to last for a long time.

Violence: Several fight scenes involve Perry, Pastore and other characters. A couple of scenes have a bodyguard chasing after Perry and Hurley to stop them from reaching her husband first. A man is shot and another is punched. Car crashes, explosions and chase scenes.

Parental advisory: Please don't let your young fans of Perry or Friends see this movie. This rating is mild for an adult movie, but unfortunately, it's too much adult material for younger children or pre-teens.

It's a wrap: I wanted to like this movie because of Perry, but I was greatly disappointed by the story. I thought Hurley might have grown as an actress since Bedazzled, but now I realize Brendan Fraser carried her in that film, just like Matthew Perry carries her in this one. The crude jokes, language, implied sexual content and ridiculous storyline with a weak message may disappoint adults expecting more of a sophisticated comedy.



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