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Film / Saving Silverman

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Saving Silverman is a 2001 Black Comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, starring Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black, and Amanda Peet.

The story involves our two loser heroes, Wayne (Zahn) and J.D. (Black), trying to prevent the impending marriage of their friend Darren (Biggs) and his Control Freak fiancée Judith (Peet), due to Darren's high school crush Sandy (Amanda Detmer) coming back into town. To this end, they kidnap Judith, fake her death, and try to hook Darren up immediately after giving him the "sad news". But will Darren get over Judith's supposed death before she exposes his friends' plan to get rid of her?

Has nothing to do with Sarah Silverman.

Tropes in this film include:

  • Amazon Chaser: Wayne is attracted to Judith partly because of her tough, no-nonsense personality and her fighting skills.
    Wayne: [While he and Judith strangle each other] I'm the strong-willed, assertive man that you need, and you're the hardcore bitch I've always dreamed of!
  • Coach Norton's speech about how women distract you from sports (and encourage lust) near the start of the movie makes a lot more sense when it's revealed that he's actually gay.
  • Control Freak: Judith. Big time. She makes Darren burn all of his Neil Diamond albums, makes him wax her legs, and she threatens to revoke his masturbation privileges.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Wayne and J.D. try to "kidnap" Judith, she promptly kicks their asses with her martial arts skills, and they just barely manage to subdue her by tazing her. And later, she still manages to escape on her own by breaking a vase at J.D.'s head, seducing Wayne and beating up Coach Norton. Played With since she is the villain.
  • Dark Action Girl: Unlike most female villains in movies of this type, Judith almost never relies on her sexuality as a weapon, preferring instead to utilize physical strength, athleticism, and her impressive intellect. That just might be the reason she's increasingly portrayed as a Noble Demon as the film goes along, and in the end experiences a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Death by Cameo: The ref who Coach Norton kills is played by director Dennis Dugan.
  • Dissimile: Wayne claims to work in a related field to Judith's. She's a psychologist — he's in pest and rodent removal.
    Judith: How is that related?
    Wayne: [Beat beat] We both help people.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Happens to Wayne, thanks to an overwhelming amount of tension.
    Judith: It took balls. Big balls.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    Wayne: She didn't like the way his ass looked. Made him get butt-cheek implants.
    J.D.: I thought his ass looked tighter!
  • Extreme Doormat: Darren is very weak-willed and has a very submissive personality, which is why Judith so easily bosses him around. He agrees to take Judith's last name and even gets ass implants at her request.
  • Fetishized Abuser:
  • Foreshadowing: Coach Norton tells the guys to stay away from women, and not give them any of their "man-juice." This makes sense when you realize that, he's actually gay.
  • Freudian Excuse: Judith psychoanalyzes herself at Wayne's request, explaining that she feels compelled to completely dominate Darren because her former boyfriend was a self-assured, macho, athletic type who got kicked to death in a brutal martial-arts competition.
  • Friend Versus Lover: The entire conflict of the movie is based on Control Freak Judith not getting along with Wayne and J.D., to the point she "forbids" Darren to see them again and has him quit their band.
  • Groin Attack: Judith zaps J.D. in the crotch with a taser (we later see him with a bag of ice on his clothed crotch). Later she also kicks Wayne in the crotch while fighting him.
  • Hand Signals: Parodied when Wayne and J.D. are preparing to sneak into the Judith's house to kidnap her and Wayne makes a few hand signals that J.D. doesn't understand.
    Wayne: Come on man, I'm using SEAL signals.
    J.D.: Lay off me, I only know the Ranger signals.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Judith uses her psychological know-how to give J.D. an impromptu therapy where she tries to convince him he's gay. She's actually surprised by how easily it works, implying he actually was actually gay and didn't know, and starts telling it to everyone. By the end of the film, Coach Norton also suddenly reveals he's gay and they get married.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Coach Norton in spades. Just look at his Establishing Character Moment, and keep in mind that this was a speech he gave to the football team of a High School.
    Norton: Stay. Away. From women! All they want from ya is your man-juice!
  • Henpecked Husband: Darren is a boyfriend version, due to a combination of Judith being a skilled Manipulative Bitch and his own Extreme Doormat personality.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The incident that landed Coach Norton in jail. He grabbed the down marker, and threw it at the ref. It goes right through him.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: While Wayne loathes Judith, he's also obviously very attracted to her. This eventually ends up evolving into a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship when she reciprocates the inconvenient attraction.
  • Lame Comeback: This exchange.
    Judith: Loser.
    Wayne: Skank.
    Judith: Eunuch.
    Wayne: Stealer... of... my friend!
  • Last-Minute Hookup: J.D. hooks up with Coach Norton at the end of the movie, immediately after both admit they are gay. They get married in the next scene.
  • Let's Wait a While: Played unsympathetically. Judith refuses to have sex with Darren until they're married, but is portrayed as inconsiderate since she keeps him sexually frustrated by changing her clothes in front of him or acting seductively. When she relents that oral sex before marriage is acceptable, she only has him get her off and doesn't return the favor.
  • Loony Fan: While all three of the main men are huge fans of Neil Diamond (going so far as to be a cover band dressed as him), J.D. manages to get a restraining order slapped on all of them by giving Neil The Glomp. They later framed and hung it up in the front hallway.
    J.D.: Neil! I wanna party with you... I wanna party with you!
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Despite being gorgeous, Judith is shown to be a selfish lover when she has Darren spend hours pleasuring her via oral sex, to the point that he gets a sore jaw, but is unwilling to do anything for him after, giving him a lame excuse that she has "Sensitive gums". When he suggests she can pleasure him in other ways (obviously implying a handjob) she just dismissively hands him over a porn magazine and some lotion and tells him "Have fun" before she rolls over (implying that he's supposed to masturbate on his own).
  • Lysistrata Gambit: A variation. When Darren refuses to follow Judith's order to quit the band, she forbids him from having sex with her again despite the fact their sex life is incredibly one-sided.
    Judith: Okay, fine. No more sex.
    Darren: What?
    Judith: You're not allowed to go down on me for one month.
    Darren: No, Judith, please—
    Judith: Don't make me take away your masturbation privileges!
  • Mama Bear: Wayne, as an Animal Control Specialist, should know better than to handle a baby animal when its mother might be around.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Judith takes full advantage of her psychologist skills to manipulate Darren into being a complete Henpecked Husband in their relationship. She also tries to turn J.D. against Wayne when psychoanalyzing him.
  • Market-Based Title': The film was titled Evil Woman outside of America.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: The DVD cover has none of the stars' names above their pictures. The poster above at least gets Amanda Peet right.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Sandy, who shows quite a bit of skin through the course of the movie despite training to become a nun.
    • Judith wears a lot of revealing outfits and acts quite seductively at times.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: When she first meets Wayne and Darren, Judith has a shirt with a large cutout that exposes her cleavage and some stomach. Later at the engagement party she wears a dress with a plunging neckline that reaches her navel.
  • Nice Guy: Darren and Sandy are the two nicest characters out of the cast.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Darren and Judith only meet because of Wayne telling Darren that Judith is into him.
  • Nuns Are Funny / Nun Too Holy: A frequent source of Sandy's humor comes from the convent she wants to join having a very well-equipped (and used!) weight room. And while the nuns themselves are perfectly amenable when Sandy explains she's leaving to be with Darren, we quickly find out that they're more disappointed than they let on.
    Mother Superior: Damn! Lost another one!
    Nun #1: Son of a bitch.
  • One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: When Wayne challenges Judith to arm-wrestling she easily defeats him, all while giving him a humiliating Does This Remind You of Anything? speech
    Judith: [holding him still while arm-wrestling] You've got quite a grip. You must be a heavy masturbator. My guess is three times a day? I bet you're a premature ejaculator. [she starts overpowering him] You start off with a big bang. Before you know it [slams his arm on the table] you're limp.
  • The One That Got Away: Judith serves as this to Darren, which makes it far less comfortable when Wayne keeps trying to push him into hooking up with Sandy.
    Darren: Come on Wayne. When are you gonna forget about the idea that I'll go out with Sandy?
    Wayne: When you go out with Sandy!
  • Pair the Spares: Wayne and Judith, and J.D. and Coach Norton at the end.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Judith is a controlling bitch while Darren is utterly spineless.
  • Shock Collar: Utilized by Wayne to help Darren get over Judith quicker... in the form of electric shocks remotely applied to Darren's nipples when he mentions her name.
  • Shot in the Ass: Wayne shoots a tranquilizer dart in Judith's butt during one of her escape attempts.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Judith and Wayne at the end.
    Wayne: Admit it! Aah! I'm the strong-willed, assertive man you need... and you're the hardcore bitch I've always dreamed of!
  • Slapstick: Judith gets Shot in the Ass and punched in the mouth.
  • Street Performer: Darren, Wayne, and J.D. perform in a Neil Diamond cover band on the boardwalk.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Judith, as part of her role as Control Freak, tries to dissociate Darren from his crass friends and set him up with new ones.
    Wayne: We knew him first!
    J.D.: Fuck you, replacement friends!
  • Swirlie: J.D. ends up getting one courtesy of Judith when he's fighting her in the bathroom.
  • Teeth Flying: Wayne and Judith punch each other's teeth out during their fight at the wedding. When she see them smiling at the end of the film, they're both still missing a tooth.
  • Too Much Information: Wayne is confused about why J.D. won't answer the door because he's eating, leading to this exchange.
    Wayne: Is there anything else you wanna tell me?
    J.D.: I got three balls.
    Wayne: Shut up! God!
  • Toplessness from the Back: When Sandy is getting dressed at the laundromat, there is a shot of her bare back, along with some gratuitous Sideboob.
  • Trailer Spoof: A TV spot for the film used the same typeface as Hannibal's ads to spell out "Get rid of the fava beans. Hide the Chianti. He's coming" before cutting to Jack Black's "Beer bong for the lady?".
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Darren and Sandy end up getting married at the end.
  • Waif-Fu: Judith is portrayed as being physically strong, easily besting Wayne in an arm-wrestling contest, despite not having much muscle.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: After Sandy falls into the water, Darren watches her dress in a laundromat dryer door reflection.
  • Wedding Finale: The climax and final scene of the film take place at a wedding.
  • Weddings for Everyone: The film ends with Darren & Sandy, Wayne & Judith, and J.D. & Coach Norton getting married.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Judith and Wayne are evenly matched as far as physical strength goes, and trade punches in the mouth, each spitting out a tooth afterward. By the end of the film, they're both sporting "hockey grins."
  • Zip Me Up: Sandy asks Darren to zip up her nun's habit after she's fone changing in the laundromat.