Saving Silverman

Saving Silverman (2001)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black, Amanda Peet
Extras: Commentary Track, Outtakes, Theatrical Trailer, Filmographies, Bonus Trailers

When a film is universally despised by critics and ignored by filmgoers, I like to check it out and give my own two-cents. I usually find myself disagreeing with the status quo about such films. But, in the case of ’Saving Silverman,’ I’m in with the majority – the film just doesn’t add up. ’American Pie’s’ Jason Biggs plays the title role of Darren Silverman, a young man who enjoys his life of hanging out with his boyhood friends Wayne (Steve Zahn) and J.D. (Jack Black), with who he has formed a Neil Diamond tribute-band called ’Diamonds in the Rough.’ Things are great until Darren meets Judith (Amanda Peet). Judith is beautiful, sexy, and everything that Darren could ever want, but she’s a bit of a control freak. After a disastrous meeting with Darren’s friends, Judith forbids Darren from seeing Wayne and J.D. so they decide that they must take matters into their own hands and save their friend.

Let it be said that everyone in this film appears to be trying very hard and they seem to be having fun, but ’Saving Silverman’ is just never funny, as comedies should be. The idea of two friends saving their pal from a domineering woman can only offer about 15 minutes of motivation, but this script never comes up with any more ideas. Director Dennis Dugan has made the most out of weak material in the past, but he apparently lost control here. Zahn and Black do have some funny moments, especially when Zahn fights a raccoon, but they can’t carry the film. And poor Jason Biggs continues to pick bad scripts (have you seen ’Loser’?). Instead of ’Saving Silverman’, someone should have been working to save this film.

Despite the fact that ’Saving Silverman’ tanked at the box-office, Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment has put together a decent DVD package. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and has been letterboxed at 1.85:1. This transfer looks fantastic, as there is practically no grain, and no distortion or noise present on the image. The color scheme on this transfer is particularly pleasing, as the fleshtones are natural and the reds, blues, and greens look very realistic. The framing appears to be accurate, and there are no overt problems from artifacting or compression. The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is equally impressive. This track brings us clear and audible dialogue, which is a must for a comedy. But, there is also a nice use of surround sound, most notably during the concert scenes. Also, the rock-oriented soundtrack shows off the dynamic range of this track, while also highlighting the bass response.

The main extra on the DVD is an audio commentary by director Dennis Dugan. It’s implied that this track was recorded before the film was released to theaters, as Dugan just goes on and on about how funny the film is and how much audiences are going to love it. Aside from that, he does a good job of providing scene-specific comments, but he mostly concentrates on letting you know how proud he is of the movie. We next get a three-and-a-half minute outtake reel with some funny bloopers, and the theatrical trailer for the movie. Save your money and avoid ’Saving Silverman’.