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SAVING SILVERMAN

About The Production

A year ago, Hank Nelken and Greg DePaul were at a friend's engagement party when they came to the realization that their buddy was going to marry the wrong woman. That moment became the inspiration for a comedic love story that would develop into their feature film debut as screenwriters.

Executive producer Brad Luff recalls the origins of the project: "I've been a fan of these writers for a while, and we've been working with them on other projects. Hank and Greg pitched the idea to me, and it was just so funny. Many of us have friends who are dating somebody who we just can't stand, and that situation is taken to the utmost extreme in Saving Silverman."

"The difference between a great idea and a great screenplay is in the execution," adds producer Neal H. Moritz. "What the screenwriters were able to do is write hysterically funny situations that came out of the characters. It's a wonderful script that has many emotional moments, but it's definitely an out-and-out comedy. They gave it a fresh point of view and a distinct voice, which is what you look for every time you read a screenplay. It's a wildly funny movie with great characters and great heart." With a winning screenplay in hand, the producers looked next for the director who could handle a film with this level of comedic complexity, as well as the idiosyncratic characters and in-your-face absurdities. They didn't have to look far.

"Nobody has better comedic timing than Dennis Dugan. He knows how to get the jokes," states Moritz, who collaborated with Dugan last year on the television pilot "Shasta McNasty." "He was the first director we gave it to."

Dennis Dugan, an accomplished film and television director, boasts a background that reflects a wonderful mix of hit comedy films (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore) and critically acclaimed television dramas ("Chicago Hope" and "NYPD Blue").

"I think this is a very funny comedy," says Dugan. "It's looney. It's as nuts and twisted as you can get. But we worked really hard to make the characters real characters and make the plot a real plot. From the beginning, I said I didn't want funny cars, funny locations or funny props, I just wanted a completely real world so that these characters can be twisted and crazy within that world."

After snagging Dugan, the filmmakers began the casting process for the story's band of outrageous characters. They secured the talents of some of the busiest young actors in Hollywood.

"We were very lucky with our cast," states Dugan. "We were able to get all of our first choices. We were so sure of the mix."

Jason Biggs takes on the title role of the nerdy, hopelessly helpless romantic Darren Silverman. "I couldn't stop laughing out loud," recalls Biggs. "It was probably the funniest script I've read since American Pie."

Biggs sees his character as a pretty average guy who really believes in the idea that there is a "one and only someone" out there for him. Silverman secretly believes that "someone" is Sandy (Amanda Detmer), a cheerleader he was close to in high school. Before he can reveal his true feelings to her, however, she moves away to join the circus as a trapeze artist.

"The years pass," says Biggs, "and that's where the movie really begins, with me still believing that she was the 'one and only' someone for me. I still haven't gotten over her. And then I meet this girl named Judith, and I immediately fall for her. Actually, she makes me believe that I fall for her. She's kind of my puppet master. Within a few weeks we are living together and engaged to be married. She has me convinced that she's my one and only someone."

Steve Zahn's character, Wayne, doesn't exactly approve of the relationship. In fact, he'll do whatever i

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