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Saturday
Nov012008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is like watching an actual porno. You thoroughly enjoy it while it is playing, but you feel slightly dirty afterwards. Kevin Smith’s newest sex romp may very well be the raunchiest, most uncomfortable movie I’ve ever sat through and yes, I’m recommending it.

The film follows Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) who have been best friends their whole lives. They live together in an apartment, but can’t pay the bills. After the heat, water, and power get shut off, they decide to make a porno to make some extra money. Although their relationship is purely platonic, they realize during the shoot that they may have deeper feelings for each other than they previously thought.

Kevin Smith is the Quentin Tarantino of comedy. Just like Tarantino, Smith has been lauded for his clever writing and interesting dialogue between characters. Ranging from Clerks to Dogma to the more recent Clerks II, Smith has made seriously funny movies that hide a layer of sweetness under all of the smut. Still, Zack and Miri Make a Porno doesn’t quite feel like a Kevin Smith movie. In a way, it feels more like a Judd Apatow movie. Instead of creating humor off of the interactions between the characters like Smith usually does, the jokes work more as throwaway one-liners, much like Apatow films.

While Smith does his best to provide his trademark style of film, Seth Rogen is more akin to Apatow movies and since those are usually flat out hilarious, you would think there wouldn’t be a downside, but there is. The problem is that the two styles don’t seem to mix very well. It was a mish-mash combination where Smith’s trademark dialogue was overshadowed by Rogen’s one-liners.

Still, there are some good laughs to be had. I had a good hearty chuckle on more than a few occasions, but not enough to make the film more than a good waste of time. The issue here is that only one or two jokes will stay with you. You’ll think back on the film and remember how you laughed, but forget why you were laughing. The jokes were instantly forgettable and as such, the film fails to reach greatness.

I also found the relationship between Zack and Miri to be too inconsistent and unbelievable to strike any kind of emotional chord in me. As with any movie of this type, the two protagonists somehow find out they have deep feelings for each other. In this film, those feelings are found through making a porno. A porno? Really? I couldn’t shake the idea that most women who give up their values to star in a low budget porn movie would probably end up emotionally scarred, not falling in love with their co-star.

Don’t get me wrong. This is still a decent time at the movies and I suspect many people will come out of it shocked at what they have just seen. This is one filthy film. It is without a doubt, one of the most vulgar movies I’ve ever seen. In this regard, many people will love it and herald it as a comedy masterpiece, but those people will probably be about thirteen. Zack and Miri Make a Porno is worth a look, but like an actual porno, it’s pretty worthless after you’re done with it.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno receives 3/5

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