Movie Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Kevin Smith and I are one and the same. Well, in reality he’s a tad fatter and shorter, and not nearly as handsome as I am, but we do share the same thought processes. Because of that, I’ve been a fan of his quick-witted, vulgar-laden writing for years so I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store for me when he announced his latest endeavor, the “discover love in all the wrong places” love story Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

Yep, amazingly enough at its core, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a romance that just so happens to be surrounded with smut. Lots and lots of smut. The love feelings in question turn out to be shared between house mates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), who, when faced with the very real possibility of homelessness, decide to muster the courage to make amateur porn together to pay the bills. To help them see their money making plan come to fruition, they illicit behind the scenes help from friends Delaney (Craig Robinson) and Deacon (Jeff Anderson), and the on-screen “talents” of Lester (Jason Mewes) and Stacey (Katie Morgan).

No doubt, if you’re easily offended, this film is not for you. What transpires after this brilliant idea is fornicated is some of Smith’s funnier, if not sicker stuff. If you thought the donkey scene in Clerks II was bad, just wait until you see what he’s dreamed up for this. As par for course of a Smith flick, every other word, out of every characters mouth is one of the “Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV” with an extra twenty words or so thrown in for good measure. There is so much of it that after a few minutes you don’t even realize anyone is cursing anymore. There’s also a fair share of nudity to go around too. For the Jason Mewes fans, enjoy the full frontal (although Smith claims there was some liberties taken). For fans of porn star Katie Morgan, you’ll get an eyeful. For the Elizabeth Banks fans, sorry, but you’re out of luck — you’ll have to wait for her star prowess to finish its ascension before you get a peak at her in her birthday suit (she still looks fantastic though).

But like I said, at the heart of Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a tale of unrequited love and burning heartfelt desires — okay not really to that extent, but nonetheless, both leads have feelings for each other that they can’t, or rather don’t, convey to each other. It’s a cute way to tie all the absurdly sexually charged insanity together, although I found it hard to imagine people would, or could, go through all these antics without just saying how they truly felt. Rogen, shows he can take his trademarked big doofus, lovable loser shtick and make it work in damn near every film he’s in (latest being Pineapple Express). Banks, as I’ve said in previous reviews, is infectious — it is simply impossible to not like her without making a concerted effort (but why would you?). There are times, however, where the chemistry between the two is off, but for the most part their relationship comes across as strong and believable. And having them actualize their true feelings is a genuinely feel good moment.

Aiding in their likability and the overall humor of the movie is a great ensemble cast. Jason Mewes, is outlandish (when isn’t he?), although I could have done without seeing his manhood. Justin Long, is hilarious as a gay porn star. Craig Robinson, as the would-be porn producer for Zack and Miri’s home movies, steals the spotlight in every scene he’s in. It’s also good to see everyone’s favorite underage real life ex-porn star, Traci Lords, making an honest go at it (although I hate to admit it but I did like her in her other line of work more).

With Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Kevin Smith has shown that even if a film is spectactularly raunchy, it can still have lovable characters that exhibit endearing qualities. In doing so, he’s put together his best work to date. And let this be a wake up call to Judd Apatow and crew. You’ve been one-upped boys — your crown of smartly written profaneness has just walked out the door . . .

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)' have 3 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2008 @ 5:04 am Trixx

    Scat?! Smith has outdone himself on the gross out meter.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 18, 2008 @ 6:07 pm bebe

    Not many women can make granny panties look good! If only she had bigger tits..

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 15, 2009 @ 8:44 am fangproxy

    Nice movie…
    if u like this try superbad

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