A million times over, the old adage has been proven true: Sex sells. But despite the fact that Mandalay Entertainment's long-on-the-shelf Serving Sara (opening Aug. 23) probably needs all the help it can get, studio founder and chairman Peter Guber decided against using the world's most surefire marketing tool to turn on movie-goers to the Matthew Perry/Elizabeth Hurley flick: He signed off on a title change from the more titillating Servicing Sara.
"There was a connotation to that title that didn't play into our core audience," he explains to TV Guide Online. "In other words, this wasn't an NC-17 film about sex. Normally 'servicing' somebody has a double entendre meaning. This was about a process server."
You'd think that would be all the more reason for Guber to spice up the project. However, not only was the producer of such blockbusters as Batman and The Color Purple confident that he was wise to take away the title's titillating tone, so were his fellow power players. To hear him tell it, they didn't have so much as a single shouting match worthy of Guber's Tinseltown page-turner, Shoot Out: Surviving Fame and Misfortune in Hollywood. "It was really a clear case of manufacturing the right moniker for the film," he insists. "There were no conflicts about it at all."
Still, with nookie nixed from the equation, the pressure is even greater on Guber to prove that he made a smart decision by casting as Perry's leading lady Hurley, a model better known for her lovely eyes than her acting chops. His defense? Chemistry, shmemistry — all the co-stars have to do is make us laugh. "It's a comedy that has some romance in it, it isn't a romance that has some comedy in it," he argues. "So it's not dependent on a burning love story between the two of them. It's an experience that the two of them have when they're thrown together that serves them both."