Terrible Movie Thursday: Saving Silverman

Saving Silverman is hardly a comedic masterpiece, but it deserves far better than the 18% approval rating that it currently has on Rotten Tomatoes. Starring Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet, Steve Zahn, and a still chubby-funny Jack Black, the movie is a ridiculous look at a couple of friends trying to pry their friend away from the clutches of his abusive and manipulative fiancee before they are married.

It’s a pretty inventive take on the antiquated rom-com trope of the main character’s significant other coming between them and their friends. It even features some celebrity cameos and was probably entirely funded by that Arby’s product placement.

Critics Consensus

Dragged down by a plot lacking any sense of logic and obnoxious, unsympathetic characters, this comedy is more crude and mean-spirited than funny.

I mean…you say all this like it’s a bad thing?

Now we have to admit…

  • No character in this movie is realistic or understandable in any sense. Darren inexplicably stays with a girl who actively shames him. Wayne is a barely-literate idiot savant. JD is a glutton who basically exists only for one catch-phrase. Judith is a sociopath in the most overt way and no one other than JD and Wayne notices. Sandy goes from being in nun training to basically a sexpot for a guy she just reconnected with. Honestly, Coach Norton might be the only consistent character in the movie and he is in jail for murder.
  • The plot is also a gigantic clusterfuck that makes zero sense. I know it’s a dumb comedy, but there is absolutely no rational reason for half of the things that happen in this movie. Why does Darren propose to Judith? How is she a therapist when she’s so cravenly manipulative of everyone in her life? Did Wayne and JD really expect that he was going to move on that quickly from his fiancee after (he thinks) she just died? How are Wayne and JD so easily manipulated by Judith when they kidnap her? How do none of them end up back in jail after breaking out?
  • I know this came out in 2001, which was still in the era of “comedies with characters so outlandishly dumb its funny” that we all outgrew. But even for that era, characters like these were too dumb to be believable. And unlike say Harry and Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber there is nothing likeable or charming about their idiocy.
  • Why are they in a Neil Diamond cover band? Why is Neil Diamond the celebrity cameo that they went after? Was the writer just a huge Neil Diamond fan? Was Barry Manilow booked?
  • You want to know how bad a movie this is? ‘Sweet Caroline’ wasn’t even featured in the goddamn movie! In. Ex. Cuseable.
  • Remember when we all thought Jason Biggs was a leading man? Oh the early 00s were crazy man. Whatever happened to Steve Zahn anyway?

But come on guys…

  • The entire scene where they are breaking into Judith’s house to kidnap her is hilarious. JD making the static noise on the walkie-talkies like all of us would do. Wayne cutting the power to the wrong house. Both of them in “camouflage” that does absolutely nothing. Wayne trying to use military signals for their “assault” and JD only knows the Air Force signals. The entire scene of Judith beating the two of them up. The only way this scene could be better is if they ended up capturing Judith because she slipped and knocked herself out, just to drive it home how inept the two are.
  • Amanda Peet in this movie…wowza. I’d like to personally congratulate her on doing something I previously thought was impossible: making Arby’s sexy.
  • Jack Black’s character may be a disaster, but it was obvious even then that this guy was a comedic giant. His energy, timing, and that “comeonnayeahaaaaa” catchphrase were all completely on point.
  • This movie stars R. Lee. Ermey (aka the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket) as the Coach. Any movie with him in it is automatically good. That’s just science.
  • It was also really #woke before being woke was a thing, having two key characters – JD and Coach – turn out to be gay and end up together. For a stupid comedy, that’s progressive as hell!
  • “There is no right woman for you, Wayne. If my guess is, if there ever was, you’ve already met her and she’s either killed herself or become a lesbian.” Top 50 movie insult coming from Judith.


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