At first glance Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) seems like a happily married housewife. But during a trip to New York her rich Texan husband Gordon (Bruce Campbell) serves her with divorce papers. Sara leads process server Joe Tyler (Matthew Perry) on a merry chase all over town until the two eventually strike a deal. See if Sara serves Gordon first the divorce proceedings will take place in New York where their assets will be divided evenly. But if Gordon serves her first the divorce will be settled in Texas a state that tends to leave women with empty pocketbooks. Keeping the case in New York is worth at least a cool $1 million to Sara and she promises to pay Joe that much if he serves Gordon before he serves her. The two hop a plane to Texas to track down Gordon who is on to their scheme and making himself scarce. Sara's heritage--a bizarre mix of a Briton-turned-Texas socialite--is never really explained not to mention hard to buy. She seems too cosmopolitan to be married to a Texas tycoon and too smart not to have realized that her husband was a cheating slime ball.
As process server Joe Tyler Perry is probably the best thing Serving Sara has going for it. His funniest scenes come early in the film when we see the crazy things his character Joe has to do to serve some of his more elusive targets. Perry's blasé delivery enhances the punch line of all the jokes but it's his character's knack for getting beaten up that makes him such a likeable underdog. In the title role Hurley is much harder to relate to. It's hard to sympathize with snooty-to-the-bone Sara when she finds out her husband is filing for divorce. Sporting a "trailer trash" T-shirt and cowboy hat Hurley looks uncomfortable throughout most of the film especially when she is juxtaposed against all things Texas like cows and hay. Cedric "The Entertainer" Kyles has a funny role as Joe's boss throwing occasional fits of rage in a colorful array of tacky suits complete with matching shoes.
When director Reginald Hudlin's The Ladies Man flopped it was almost expected. After all very few good films come out of Saturday Night Live skits. Hudlin has no convenient scapegoat for this film unfortunately. Watching the film's citified duo running around in the backcountry dodging cow dung and a snakeskin boot-clad security man becomes unfunny surprisingly fast since everything in Serving Sara seems like a blatant set-up for a lame joke. Is the only purpose of Joe and Sara's undercover visit to her husband's new ranch to have them pose as veterinarians so Perry can stick his arm up a bull's butt? It would seem so. Does Sara tear her pants on a conveyer belt for the sole purpose of getting into that plaid mini? Probably so. Combined with unflattering dull visuals Serving Sara becomes almost painful to watch despite a good effort by Perry to make this gig somewhat entertaining. Kudos however on the film's opening credits with playful letters dancing across the screen to spell out the title.