“SAVING SILVERMAN” IS SHOCK SCHLOCK
Catalyst March Issue 2001
Most reviewers agreed that “Saving Silverman” was one of the most vulgar movies to open in some time. What didn’t catch their eye were the Catholic-bashing elements.
When the film opened on February 9, it was described by reviewers in terms that were appropriately harsh: “there are a number of laugh-out-loud moments wedged in between the gay jokes, masturbation humour and poop pranks” (Edmonton Sun); “we see Darren undergoing surgery for butt-cheek implants and reacting to shocks from electric nipple clamps. Wayne applies a cattle prod to Judith, who’s holding J.D.’s fishnet-stocking-clad head underwater in a toilet bowl. And then there’s Ermey defecating on a lawn” (New York Post); “It has much scatological humor” (New York Times); “PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, thematic material” (USA Today). The Washington Post said it best when it remarked, “‘Saving Silverman’ really stinks.”
Of particular interest to the Catholic League was the film’s take on nuns.
Here is what we told the media:
“Jason Biggs is the star of ‘Saving Silverman.’ He is mostly known for masturbating. To wit: a Lexis-Nexis search linking Biggs with masturbation turns up 76 hits; this is not surprising given that he first became famous after masturbating into a hot apple pie in ‘American Pie.’ Now he’s back at it again in ‘Saving Silverman,’ only this time he finds himself in an unusually sticky situation: his girl, Judith, warns him she’ll ‘take away (his) masturbation privileges’ if he doesn’t do what he’s told.
“Now none of this would matter much to us if the movie didn’t find it necessary to depict a ‘long-lost school cheerleader crush…who, by the way, is training to be a nun.’ True to form, the would-be nun is ‘subjected to all manner of sexual embarrassment and displayed in various states of PG-13 acceptable undress.’ Vulgar nun jokes are thrown in for good luck.”
We then addressed the core issue for the Catholic League. “What got us was the way reviewers reacted to the movie’s coarseness. Lou Lumenick, for example, told readers in the New York Post that the film was ‘both misogynous and homophobic.’ What he couldn’t bring himself to do was register a complaint about the Catholic bashing. Neither could anyone else.”
We await the day when movies that trash Catholics are greeted with the same outrage that currently greets films that trash gays.