Zack and Miri Make a Porno

It’s a good time to be a geek in America.  There’s a lot of stuff coming out that makes for a constant geek-gasm.   Not that it’s all that hard an effect to create.  Pretty much anything with the words Star and Wars make us want to run home, drop our Scooby Doo underoos and lay a brick all over our life-sized, blown-up Slave Leia poster.  And speaking of fat American masurbators, Kevin Smith’s new comedy came out this week.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno.   What isn’t there to like about that?  In the words of Zack Brown, the lead character in the film, “Why the FUCK aren’t we watching that RIGHT NOW???”

Honestly, why aren’t you?  Well, I can think of a reason.  If you’re easily offended or just don’t have a flexible sense of humor, this isn’t the movie for you.  It IS a Kevin Smith film after all.  It’s EXACTLY as dirty as the title makes it sound without being inappropriate for… uhhh… anyway, let’s move on.

As a preface, I should mention that I am a Kevin Smith fan, without being a “Kevin Smith fan”.  By that I mean, I enjoy the man’s work.  But there are some people out there who seem to think he’s a god simply because he’s one of the few public figures who doesn’t look like Matthew McConaghey or Woody Harrelson who admits to smoking pot.  I’m not entirely sure why that’s impressive anymore.  We live in an age where our last two Presidents have been caught smoking pot and being a crackhead.  But there you go.

Kevin Smith is a really good writer who is hindered from being a great writer by his own sense of inadequacy and unwillingness to “go all the way”.  I think he really is holding himself back.  So basically, he’s a fat kid.  (I am too, so shut up.)   Chasing Amy was the first mature film he ever made, but it was still visually amateur.  I think the next step from great writer to great writer/ film-maker was Jersey Girl, a film that showed us a more adult (though not “Adult”) Kevin Smith. What’s sad is that film was panned by so many critics, and very much unfairly.  The hype surrounding “Bennifer” is really what hurt the film from an advertising perspective.  Nevermind that Lopez and Affleck were both great in the film, and that Lopez’s features played a part in Rachel Castro’s casting, which is turn was a great move on Smith’s part.  But it seems as though the sting of Jersey Girl’s critical rebuke has pushed Smith in the other direction, first with Clerks 2, and now with Zack and Miri.  The rubberband effect seems almost a statement on Smith’s part.  “Okay if they’re not going to accept me as an artist, fuck it, I’m just gonna be the funny fat guy I’ve always been and play to my audience.”  That’s kind of sad, because Jersey Girl is my favorite Smith film, no matter how funny the last two have been.

And Zack and Miri IS funny, make no mistake.  (Not to mention “Adult” without being adult.)  What’s still great about Kevin Smith films is that he has never lost that “movies can still be fun and have a story” element.  He isn’t trying to be an artist even when he IS being an artist.  He just makes movies for people who loves movies.  Or in this case, people who loves porn movies.

THE PLOT

Zack Brown and Miri Linkey are to lovable losers who have known each other since first grade and have been failures since the day they met.   When they finally hit rock bottom, they decide to make a pornographic movie starring each other.  And then they start to realize they love each other.  Hijinks and hilarity ensue.  Also, people fuck on camera.  A lot.

THE ACTING

How does one make a Kevin Smith film MORE vulgar?  Cast Seth Rogen.  I liken it to Smith casting a more contemporary version of himself.  The last time (technically the first time) Rogen was the lead in a film, there were mixed results.  He was really good, and you could almost see (alllllllllllllllmmmmmooooossstttt) why a girl like Katherine Heigl would take a chance on a slob like him.   This time you can absolutely believe the a girl as hot as Elizabeth Banks would sleep with him.  I think the friendship/ budding relationship element of the story worked them and ultimately lead to chemistry.   For all the filth of this fucking film ; )  their love story is heart of the film.  And the primary reason it works is because of both Rogen and Banks.  Elizabeth Banks is pretty hot in Hollywood right now.  She’s been in just about every other movie for the last year or so (and in fact she was in two of the trailers for Zack and Miri).  She’s worth every penny in my opinion, but she’s quickly becoming over-exposed.

The rest of the cast was pretty inspired as well.  Kudos to Kev for casting actual porn stars for the role of female porn stars.  The role of Stacy is FILLED OUT (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH—- oh come on!  filled out?  that’s some good shit right there!) by current Adult film actress Katie Morgan.  Really no need to study for role as an anal loving porn actress, though I like to imagine she took on a high school football team just to be sure.   Seriously, I had a raging boner most of the movie.  And I’m not entirely uncertain that Jason Mewes didn’t actually do her in the movie.  It looked pretty realistic to me.  … Moving on.   I also have to give credit to Tracy Lords for playing the slightly more used actress, Bubbles.   I LOVE actors that are willing to poke fun at themselves.  Realistically, Lords’ attempts to recreate herself as a legitimate actress haven’t gone as planned.  Sooner or later she was going to be looked at for something like this.  She could either go on that VH1 show Has Beens Doing Coke For Peanuts Just So People Will See Them On TV and Remember They Exist (or whatever it’s called) or do Zack and Miri.  Good choice.

The one complaint I had is that at times, it felt like a Judd Apatow film.   For instance, as much as I love Craig Robinson  (the big black dude), I remember thinking at one point “It’s about time they gave him more air time!”   Except that he’s never been in a Smith movie before.

THE PORN

Top. Notch.  I totally rubbed one out when I got home.  (And incidentally, Katie Morgan was in THAT film as well.)

THE EXTRAS

This is one of those films that has a capper after the credits roll, so you might want to stick around.  It isn’t essential to enjoy the film, but it does put a nice bow on it.

Also there are a few surprise guest stars besides the already advertised Justin Long (who is reeeeeeallly good, by the bi).

OVERALL

I loved it.  I laughed.  I rooted for Zack and Miri to get together.  And I actually saw Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) in a role that I believed.    Good stuff.  Admittedly, I did think the film was over the top.  (There is one REALLY gross scene towards the end.)   Part of me wishes Kevin Smith would dig deeper and write the kind of film I know he’s capable of.  (Fuck Damon and Affleck!)  But if all he ever did was give me raging boners — you know what I mean— and make me laugh, well, that’s alright too.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ad Astra on November 3, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    It really was a great film. One of the first in a really long time I didn’t see just because I was with a group of people, and couldn’t wait for it to get out on DVD. I ACTUALLY wanted to see it, bad. And it was awesome 🙂

    Reply

  2. Yeppers. And hot.

    Reply

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