Paper Chase
Serving Sara
Review by Ross Anthony

A romantic comedy? No, not really. Though something of a coupling eventually ensues, the Serving Saraproduction hasn't much romance. A "Get Shorty" mob farce? Yes, at least that's the apparent target genre. Though "Serving Sara" is a bit "short" on "getting" there.

We're introduced to unshaven process server Joe Tyler (Perry) in the "process of serving" a summons to one of several movie-mobster Italian stereotypes. The scene is funny in a 007-not-wannabe kind of way with Perry shuffling masochistically along the thin line of not quite being important enough to kill.

Immediately following this amusing little introduction -- several minutes of sophomoric dialogue banter and an early lull. Eventually, Joe stumbles into the real plot when he decides to un-serve Sara's (Hurley's) divorce papers and instead, with her assistance, serve her cheating cowboy husband. But her assistance makes no real sense, only movie sense.

Lulls crop up in between the cracks of an average pace. Much of the humor is of TV variety, although the film does have its moments. I especially enjoyed the performance of "the cheap motel clerk" whose steadfast poker face instantly breaks apart into that of a whimpering infant after taking a frontal flash from Hurley.

I'm a fan of Matthew Perry and his Joe Tyler character is an interesting one, but "Serving Sara" hasn't much more to serve than light, silly, cat & mouse fluff.

  • Serving Sara. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley, Vincent Pastore, Bruce Campbell, Cedric the Entertainer, Amy Adams, Terry Crews.
  • Directed by Reginald Hudlin.
  • Written by Jay Scherick & David Ronn.
  • Produced by Dan Halsted at Mandalay/Paramount.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:30 PDT