A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a PG-13 movie that could easily have qualified for an R (and, in fact, an R-rated version was also released on DVD), and they should be very cautious about evaluating its appropriateness for teenagers. The movie has very strong language and jokes about oral sex, masturbation, and homosexuality. A "butt cheek implant" operation is shown in brief but gross detail. Drinking too much beer is portrayed as a humorous bonding experience. The movie includes comic kidnapping and comic fatalities. A woman uses sex to control a man.
What's the story?
SAVING SILVERMAN centers on Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs), and his buddies J.D. (Jack Black), Wayne (Steve Zahn), who think that life can't get much better than watching football with a beer bong or performing "Holly Holy" in their Neil Diamond tribute band, "Diamonds in the Rough." Then Darren gets involved with a nightmare girlfriend Judith (Amanda Peet), who refers to him as her puppet and herself as his puppet master. Darren's two pals decide the only way to save him is to kidnap Judith so that he can spend some time with the only girl he loved in high school. She happens to be a former trapeze artist about to become a nun.
Is it any good?
I'll admit it with some embarrassment – this movie made me laugh. Yes, it is a very dumb comedy, but as dumb comedies go, it is one of the best because it stars four of the most able comic actors around. Jack Black, Steve Zahn, Jason Biggs, and Amanda Peet are so much fun to watch that I dare you not to smile.
If Saving Silverman sounds like an Adam Sandler movie, that might be because Sandler produced it, and because it was directed by Dennis Dugan, the director of Big Daddy and Happy Gilmore. It has the loose construction (and the juvenile attitude toward women) of a Sandler movie – it's disarmingly unpretentious, but also repetitive. In the end, though, it works, thanks to the inescapable pleasure of watching Zahn, Black, and Biggs. Peet is less well served by the script, which has her as some sort of pre-pubescent fantasy of a man-eating girlfriend, but she still glows – and looks great in some very revealing outfits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what happens to friends when they start to become involved in romance and why a man like Darren would put up with a woman who treats him with no respect or affection. What would be the right thing to do if you believe your friend is in a bad relationship?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.