Saving Silverman is a comedy about two friends trying to rescue their friend from a miserable relationship. Steve Zahn and Jack Black play Wayne and J.D. and Jason Biggs plays the titular Darren Silverman. Amanda Peet plays the succubus, Amanda Detmer plays Darren’s long lost love, and R. Lee Ermey plays their old football coach. Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore) is in the director’s chair. It’s a stupid movie about stupid people, but it’s funny and that’s what a comedy should be.
Darren, Wayne, and J.D. are best friends since the fifth grade. They share a common obsession with Neil Diamond and are in a Neil Diamond tribute band. They spend their days drinking beers and hanging out and having fun. That all changes when Darren meets Judith (Amanda Peet). Judith is a controlling, manipulative psychologist who has Darren wrapped around her finger. She can’t stand J.D. and Wayne and forbids Darren from hanging out with them anymore.
Wayne and J.D. want their friend back and decide they have to save Darren at any cost. The best and most logical thing to do is to kidnap Judith and set up Darren with Sandy, his long lost love from high school. The two friends capture Judith and lock her up in their garage, leaving a fake note for Darren saying that she ran away and doesn’t want to marry him. Darren is distraught and misses her, but Wayne convinces him to go out with Sandy. He’s relieved to know that Sandy is preparing to take her final vows to become a nun, and he relaxes around her. They catch up on old times, they share laughs, they have a moment, and sparks fly.
Wayne and J.D. have their hands full with their cunning captive. She outsmarts them and escapes a few times. She analyzes J.D. and makes him realize his homosexuality. While his two best friends are holding his kidnapped fiancée hostage, Darren and Sandy are falling in love. She even decides to leave the convent for him. And Darren is finally happy again.
But of course Judith escapes, Darren goes back to her, Sandy goes back to the convent, and Wayne and J.D. go to jail. Darren and Judith are about to get married and Sandy is about to become a nun, but Wayne and J.D. escape from jail with the help of their old football coach. They save Sandy from her nun vows, then they kidnap Neil Diamond, then they all go to stop the wedding. Darren ends up with Sandy, Judith ends up with Wayne, and J.D. ends up with their old football coach.
This is a stupid movie. But it’s a cult classic now. Jack Black and Steve Zahn have a lot of great moments and quotable lines. They are also eight and ten years older than Jason Biggs. Jason Biggs looked too young to be their friend, he was a little miscast. His role isn’t that important either. Wayne is the main character, he is the one who calls all the shots, he opens the movie, and he’s the one trying to save Silverman.
If you weren’t a Neil Diamond fan going in to this movie, you will be when you come out. Be prepared for that.
Critically Rated at 10/17