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EVIL WOMAN

SYNOPSIS:
Life for Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs) revolves around three things: his friends, Wayne (Steve Zahn) and JD (Jack Black); football; and Neil Diamond. The three perform in a tribute band together, and revel in their Sunday afternoon in front of the tube with a few quiet drinks. Then Darren meets Judith (Amanda Peet), a beautiful psychologist. While Darren is smitten with her, Wayne and JD believe Judith is a cunning manipulator who’s using him for her own ends. Things reach a head when she bans Darren from seeing his friends and an engagement is announced. In the meantime, Wayne finds out Darren’s "one and only" from high school, Sandy (Amanda Detmer) is back in town. He’s determined to play matchmaker with Darren and Sandy – even if that means a little kidnapping…

Review by David Edwards:
It’s a good thing someone decided to release the awful Freddy Got Fingered this year, as it saves Evil Woman from being the worst movie of 2001 – but only just. This shrill, juvenile and quite ridiculous excuse for a romantic comedy hits just about every wrong note as it clunks its way to a conclusion so banal, it beggars description. But then, it was directed by Dennis Dugan, who was responsible for inflicting the Adam Sandler "comedies" Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy on us. From butt cheek implants to a sexy nun and a psychotic football coach, this film dredges the depths of what passes for comedy. As it goes on, the script becomes more outrageous and more unbelievable, as if the scriptwriters were trying to extricate their characters from the mess they had created. The whole thing feels cobbled together, and its plot twists fall flat more often than not. The producers managed to assemble an impressive cast. You would have thought the hot comedic talents of Steve Zahn and Jack Black in one movie would really fire, but they and the other actors are hamstrung by the script’s inanity. Jason Biggs and Amanda Peet also try hard, but the task is too monumental. Even a cameo by Mr Diamond himself can’t save it. There are a few laughs to be had, mostly in the early stages, but the subsequent ludicrous goings-on drag this film into the abyss. Evil Woman is a waste of the cast’s talents and the audience’s time. This is American pap comedy dross at its most tedious.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Quite possibly the most postponed release in years, Evil Woman first appeared in trailers about eight months ago when it was called (by it's US title) Saving Silverman. Having finally seen this wittless to half-witted comedy under its newer, blander title Evil Woman, I can see why the distributors tried to sweep it under the carpet. It's a piece of low-brow misogyny filled with various levels of homo-eroticism, sadomasochism, and gender-reversal that basically spares no character their fair share of sexual humilation. You know, the kind of comedy made king by American Pie, There's Something About Mary, and Adam Sandler films (not surprisingly, director Dennis Dugan helmed two Sandler films). Wayne and J.D. each receive the proverbial kick in the nuts, Darren is forced into unreciprocated sex with Judith, and the film is so cheeky it doesn't let either opposing sex-bombs off the hook. Uber-bitch Judith wears clothes so revealing her cleveage deserves its own credit, while saintly Sandy is a weightlifting trainee-nun. Likewise, it's fun to see the three guys goof it up in flashbacks to their high school days; Biggs as a male cheerleader, Zahn as the third-string quarterback, and Black as the team's squawking eagle mascot. Perhaps if the entire film was set in high school (and thus playing on the mature age/immature minds of the characters), Evil Woman would have been a far sharper affair. The dialogue has only one good line when Wayne and J.D. go back and forth comparing Judith to movie villain; "she's Hanniabl Lecter," "she's Vader," "she's the Emperor - only with better tits." My theory is the guys are threatened by Judith not because she's a bitch, but because she's an educated bitch. "He's my puppet and I'm his puppet master," she admits to them with her PhD and her interest in reading novel (who she think she is!). Yet she is the most appealing of the characters with her tongue as spiky as her high heels and an intellect that makes J.D. think he's gay and Wayne think she's in love with him. I can't understand how high calbibre actors like these (especially High Fidelity's freaky music Nazi Jack Black and the underrated Steve Zahn) are hearded into films unworthy of their talents. I put down to the dreaded "studio system." Indeed, with the considerable energies of its four vivacious leads, Evil Woman would be turkey-of the-year material.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

EVIL WOMAN (M)
(US)

CAST: Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black, Amanda Peet

DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan

PRODUCER: Neal H. Moritz

SCRIPT: Hank Nelken, Greg DePaul

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Arthur Albert

EDITOR: Patrick J. Don Vito, Debra Neil-Fisher

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michael S. Bolton

MUSIC: Mike Simpson, Bruno Coon

RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 13, 2001







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