Humorless `Serving Sara' lacks plot, timing, dialogue

Matthew Perry is still Chandler, but he's not funny

August 23, 2002|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

SUN SCORE

*

Serving Sara is misnamed. Ill-Serving Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley and Anyone Else Associated With This Inert Lump of Celluloid would be more like it.

This movie doesn't play; it just lies there, waiting to be kicked around by anyone unfortunate enough to have shelled out good money to see it.

Perry, trying desperately to lay the groundwork for a post-Friends career, doesn't. As Joe Tyler, a process server assigned to deliver divorce papers to the trophy wife of a rich Texan, he's about as funny as a summons and should be as assiduously avoided. Perry might have been more effective if he'd tried to do more than simply transfer his Friends character, Chandler Bing, to the big screen. Then again, even that wouldn't have helped much.

And as Sara Moore, the aforesaid wife, Hurley is marvelous to look at and has an effortlessly sexy voice. You want to hear about acting? Friend, you've come to the wrong film.

It's hard to say what's wrong here. The plot is nothing except a series of chases separated by phone calls. The pacing is all wrong, the comedic timing non-existent. The dialogue alternates between leadenly banal and numbingly humorless. The leads display nothing in the form of chemistry.

Cedric the Entertainer generates a few laughs as Tyler's boss, but even he's reduced to doing an impromptu dance to try to inject some energy into the proceedings. He does, but only for a few moments.

Only two groups of people could have any possible reason to see this thing: those who wonder what it would be like if Chandler Bing got a job as a process server (no one really knows what Chandler does for a living, so why not?) and those who have a serious thing for Elizabeth Hurley.

The rest of you, consider this fair warning: Steer clear.

Serving Sara

Starring Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley

Directed by Reginald Hudlin

Released by Paramount

Rated PG-13 (crude humor, sexual content, language)

Time 100 minutes

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.