Movie Review: Serving Sara

Written: August 23, 2002

As the summer’s corona burns off and we fade into fall, Hollywood often serves up its worst and most unpredictable fare.

The films released in late August through the first week of October are films that studios couldn’t fit into their summer schedules or are embarrassments.

With the debut of last week’s “Adventures of Pluto Nash” it was the dawn of that time of year.

“Serving Sara” is probably one of those comedies that deserved a better launch than during this time of year.

The question does stand that when is it best to release a romantic comedy? Studios are still trying to crack that nut.

“Serving Sara” stars Matthew Perry (of TV’s Friends) as Joe Tyler, a process server whose latest victim is an unsuspecting rich cattle baron’s wife Sara Moore (Elizabeth Hurley).

But when the deed is done Sara offers Joe a deal that would make him a fortune if they “process served” her rich husband, Gordon (Bruce Campbell) instead. This sends Joe and Sara on a cat-and-mouse game to corner Gordon.

“Serving Sara” is one of those typical romantic comedies where the hero schmuck ends up with the supermodel.

Casting is always key in these generic comedies. The only way this movie could have been more cliché cast is if Freddie Prinze Jr. played Joe Tyler.

Placing that entire aside, I actually found myself liking the movie for the “insulin-injected” comedy it is. I think I fell victim to how much I find Chandler Byng as my favorite character on “Friends”.

I couldn’t see past the fact that Perry is Chandler and that his character here has a lot in common with Chandler. I was also sucked into the vortex that is the allure of Elizabeth Hurley.

She just oozes charisma and it’s hard to look away. The problem is that her acting talent and Perry’s aren’t that stellar except each does display an uncanny like-ability. That display is key to the success of this genre.

I enjoyed a lot of the jokes but felt they so could have been executed better if Perry was more of an improve comedian than an actor who happens to do comedy.

Another relief I got from this film was that there are some gross gags but the film doesn’t bash us over the head with them.

If you are a Matthew Perry or Elizabeth Hurley fan then you are sure to love this saccharine-filled treat.

For people who don’t like romantic comedies this film’s saccharine could turn into cyanide.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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