Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennis Dugan|
|Produced by||Neal H. Moritz|
|Written by||Hank Nelken|
R. Lee Ermey
|Music by||Mike Simpson|
|Edited by||Debra Neil-Fisher|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$26 million|
Saving Silverman is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black and Amanda Peet. Neil Diamond has a cameo role playing himself. In the film, Darren Silverman's longtime friends try to save him from marrying his controlling new girlfriend, whose behavior threatens the friends, their band, and Darren's chance at happiness with his lifelong true love.
Darren Silverman, Wayne LeFessier, and J.D. McNugent, best friends since fifth grade and Neil Diamond fans throughout, form a Neil Diamond tribute band called "Diamonds in the Rough". Darren meets a beautiful but domineering psychologist who is showing signs of being emotionally abusive, Judith Fessbeggler, through a chance encounter in a local bar after a band gig. Six weeks into their relationship, Darren asks Judith if whether they could finally have sex, but Judith refuses in the belief that premarital sex is wrong; rather, she suggests non-penetrative sex as alternative, during which Darren gets nothing but a sore jaw.
Judith isolates Darren from his friends, demands that Darren quit the band, receive humiliating medical procedures, and attend relationship counseling under her care. Wayne and J.D. decide to save Darren from her by attempting to bribe her, arm wrestle her, and shock her with faked photographs of Darren cheating, all to no avail.
The friends, undaunted, try to reunite Darren with his "one and only", Sandy Perkus, when she returns to Seattle to take her final vows as a nun. When Darren and Judith announce their engagement, Wayne and J.D. kidnap Judith. However, Judith eventually discovers the identity of her captors, and the duo are convinced they cannot let her go. When they visit Coach Norton in jail (who accidentally killed a referee in a fit of rage) his advice is that they should just kill her. The pair attempt to shoot Judith, but end up deciding against it. Sandy's feelings for Darren are reawakened, but the pair's attempted date is ruined by Darren's preoccupation with Judith. Sandy, disheartened, returns to the convent, but Darren snaps out of it and runs the 30 miles there to win her back.
Chained to an engine block in Wayne's garage, Judith helps J.D. realize he is gay. She knocks him unconscious to steal his keys and escape, only to be tranquilized with a dart gun by Wayne. Returned to the garage, Judith seduces Wayne into releasing one of her hands, so she escapes again. She runs to Darren's house in time to see him kiss Sandy, but shames him into confessing his engagement to Judith. Sandy, disheartened, returns to the convent again.
Darren has Wayne and J.D. arrested. After escaping from jail with the help of Coach Norton, J.D. and Wayne rush to the convent on the brink of Sandy's final vows as a nun. They convince her that Darren still loves her. They then kidnap Neil Diamond to help Darren and Sandy reunite. At the wedding, Neil stalls the proceedings with the song "Hello Again" while Darren and Sandy reunite, Wayne and Judith (the latter being furious that her wedding is ruined) beat each other up (as love play) and J.D. arrives holding Coach in his arms, who coincidentally reveals to J.D. that he too is gay. The couples then wed on stage at Neil Diamond's concert; Darren to Sandy, Wayne to Judith, and J.D. to Coach.
- Jason Biggs as Darren Silverman
- Steve Zahn as Wayne Lefessier
- Jack Black as J.D. McNugent
- Amanda Peet as Judith Fessbeggler
- Amanda Detmer as Sandy Perkus
- R. Lee Ermey as Coach Norton
- Neil Diamond as himself
- Kyle Gass as Bar guy
- Christopher Logan as Vageet
This film falls within a cross-genre film type from the late 1990s and early 2000s in which grooms are saved, or nearly saved, from distasteful marriage. Cast member Jason Biggs said the film is based on "a universal problem" of girlfriends who control who their partners are friends with.
Saving Silverman was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia at a cost of US$22 million. Neil Diamond said humorously that "I was dragged into this project kicking and screaming." He wrote and composed a new song, "I Believe in Happy Endings", for the film.
The film has a score of 18% (an average rating of 3.4 out of 10 based on 100 reviews) on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Its critical consensus states, "Dragged down by a plot lacking any sense of logic and obnoxious, unsympathetic characters, this comedy is more crude and mean-spirited than funny" Metacritic gives it an average score of 22% based on 29 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The film opened at No. 3 at the North American box office making US$7.4 million in its opening weekend. The film grossed a domestic total of $19,402,030 and $26,086,706 worldwide from a $22 million budget. It opened behind The Wedding Planner and Hannibal, which opened at the top spot.
Saving Silverman was released in two versions on home video - the PG-13 version that had been released in theaters, and the original R rated cut. The differences between the two versions are mostly dialogue changes and small additions to certain scenes, although two new scenes do appear, with some other scenes in the movie swapped around to compensate for the longer run time.
- Adam Sternbergh (January 28, 2004). "The Devil Wears Pearls: In recent movies, grooms across America flee their frigid fiancees". Slate Magazine.
- Steve Head (January 24, 2001). "I Am... I Said Saving Silverman". IGN Movies. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
- Saving Silverman locations from the Internet Movie Database
- Laura Jackson (2005). Neil Diamond: His Life, His Music, His Passion. ECW Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-1-55022-707-9.
- "Saving Silverman at Rotten Tomatoes". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2007-01-31.
- "Saving Silverman at MetaCritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- Saving Silverman at Box Office Mojo
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