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Serving Sara

Starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley
Written by Jay Scherick & David Ronin
Directed by Reginald Hudlin

IN SHORT: A second rate film more appropriate for made for a second rate pay cable network description. [Rated PG-13 for Crude Humor, Sexual Content and Language. minutes]

For those of you lucky enough never to be sued, process servers are the intimidating punks that sneak up on you and, by whatever means necessary at whatever times necessary, use deceit, lies, misdirection and maybe a wink and a kiss, all to put a stamped and sealed piece of legalized paper in (your) hand. Serving Sara is a story of a fierce and vicious rivalry between two New York based process servers and how a pretty young target pushes said rivalry over the proverbial cliff. It's a love story, of course. One good looking guy with paper. One very good looking target who offers a better deal and the thug of a rival who would be more than happy to put his co-worker out of the biz for all time.

If there were any kind of exciting chemistry between the stars, this overdone template might have been entertaining. But it's not.

Joe Tyler (Matthew Perry, click for StarTalk) is the cleverest of the pair of servers. His competition, Big Tony (Vincent Pastore) a 300 pound bruiser proudly holds the current record of serving up to eight summonses at a time. Joe manages one every six days. Big Tony's only flaw is that he has a wee bit of trouble reading calendars and setting his wristwatches, things that are apparently vital to the "dot the i and cross the t" legal necessities of the summons process and will certainly be important as the film Serving Sara reaches its moment of climax. Boss Ray Harris (Cedric the Entertainer) works that rivalry to a tee when he drops some divorce papers in their hands.

Oil and cattleman Gordon Moore (Bruce Campbell) is the client and his English Trophy Wife Sara Moore (Elizabeth Hurley) is the target. The value of Moore's business is about to quadruple due to a secret deal involving Japanese investors. Under Texas law, if she gets served first, from a Texas hired processor, she'll get nothing. Under New York law she gets most of the farm. With a promise of a million dollar payoff if he queers the deal, Sara gets Joe in line. That doesn't stop Big Tony from trying to serve his set of papers, and Serving Sara quickly degenerates into a remarkably uninteresting chase movie.

That's about as complicated as it gets folks, serving more as a framework for the usual burp, fart and innuendo gags that brighten any thirteen year old boy's life. To be honest, the sight of Elizabeth Hurley stripped down to stolen trailer trash gear was most entertaining to middle aged eyes but did we really have to learn that the most vital possessions kept or owned by any stock rancher can be found in that unique open space between the left and right bullock of a bull steer? Then again, with a film aimed at 13 year olds, all of whom should have received that special talk from mom and dad, what better way to help illustrate the birds and the bees than the travails of an inflatable cow, just waiting for her anxious, shriveled bull to do his duty -- with our process servers elbow deep in all of this, doing their duty to ensure the propagation of the species. Yessireebob! Serving Sara gets extra points for its educational content.

Can't say enough about Liz Hurley in clingy thingies and underwear, though, since it's the only thing that kept us awake. We're sure there's some equivalent for the ladies in Matthew Perry but we don't go that way. Predictably enough, this "gonna haveta be a happy loving couple" does their damndest to avoid doing anything that would lead to that predictable and etched-in-genre-template result. Pray to God that they fail (thus making the relationship actually happen) before you lose your mind, if you're anywhere beyond the age of 20.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Serving Sara, he would have paid . . .


rent, unless you're a teen/ early 20something. Then Serving Sara may pass as a dateflick, and a totally disposable one at that.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Reginald Hudlin
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