Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Decade of Dreck #10: Serving Sara

serving_sara Charge Shot!!! is celebrating the end of the decade in the most masochistic way we know how - by watching and writing about the 100 worst movies of the last ten years as defined by film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Click here to see RT's complete list, click here for more about the Decade of Dreck project, and click here to see all of the movies we've done so far.

Ever wondered why every post-Friends project Matthew Perry has been involved with has failed spectacularly? It’s because he’s an eminently unlikable protagonist, a greasy, chinless, sarcastic douchebag of a leading man with scarcely a likable bone in his body. In Friends, his greasiness could be buried under layers of other shallow self-absorbed idiots, but as a principal actor one is exposed to him without even the scant buffer of a Jennifer Aniston or David Schwimmer. One actually cheers to see his smarmy face beaten in by a pair of stereotypical Italians (which happens) or a girl (which also happens) or shot at by a huge black cowboy (I couldn’t make this up).

Serving Sara is an assault on the senses, from the overly cutesy opening sequence to the spit-take gag at the very end. It’s a loose-knit tapestry of fat jokes and poor performances, bad camerawork, poor editing – you name it, it’s done poorly here.

Matthew Perry plays an unshaven lout with perpetually greasy bedhead. He needs to serve divorce papers to Elizabeth Hurley, but then they have a talk and it comes to light that if Matthew Perry can turn the tables and serve papers to Hurley’s no-account Texan husband under New York law, she’ll get a bunch more money and Matthew Perry can have a million dollars. Also, they find love along the way, and I filled a ten-gallon bucket with my vomit.

Perry’s own unique brand of odiousness aside, there’s not a good performance to be found for miles. Elizabeth Hurley just smiles coyly at Matthew Perry’s every snarky aside, as though We The Audience find his wisecracks endearing. Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore turns in a broad, stupid performance that any Italian-American could easily have handled, and Cedric the Entertainer is hardly “entertaining.” Amy Adams stops by and shows her boobs a bit. This movie is a crossroads, where people whose careers are winding down meet and shake hands with people who, for unrelated reasons, will later become more famous.

Nothing in Serving Sara is memorable, except for one scene that viewers will never be able to un-see: One of the movie’s principal jokes, one that stretches out for minutes and minutes longer than it needs to, involves Matthew Perry, ahem, anally fisting a bull in order to arouse it. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh. My. God. There are no words for how uncomfortable this scene made me. Nothing worse has happened in any movie before or since. And the bull then mounts a plastic cow, which opens its mouth and makes weird mooing noises. It’s surreal – I had trouble convincing myself it wasn’t a fever-induced nightmare. And it just goes on and on and on.

So, yeah. Watch Serving Sara, and the image of Matthew Perry shoulder-deep in a bull’s lower intestine will be with you for the rest of your life. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Serving Sara is ranked #62 on the Rotten Tomatoes Worst 100 list with 5% freshness. Its RT page can be found here.