Zack and Miri Make a Porno


Ok, so I’m gonna bitch a lot through this review because of how disappointed I am, but right from the get-go, let me clarify that this doesn’t mean that I hated the film. Despite all its flaws, it remains a pretty good little comedy which made me laugh quite a bit… But just not nearly as much as most of Kevin Smith‘s other movies, which were also way better written and less conventional. This is not another “Mallrats” or “Jersey Girl”, mind, but it sometimes almost feels like it is…

You know how Judd Apatow’s movies have got all this really funny shit going on, but then they get marred down by all these rom-com clich├ęs? Well, that’s one of the main problems with “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” too. Now, you’re gonna tell me that practically all of Smith’s flicks also blend dick and fart jokes with sentimentality, but they usually do so in a much more natural and heartfelt manner. Whereas the will-they-or-won’t-they? protracted love story between lifelong friends Zack and Miri feels forced, in no small part because Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks just don’t click as a couple. When Banks acts all lovey-dovey, it just feels stupid, and it’s even worse with Rogen, who’s obviously not romantic lead material.

If the “Make a Porno” part of the flick worked better, maybe I would be more forgiving towards the weakness of the “Zack and Miri” relationship stuff, but I was shocked at how stale that also was. Even when the porno humor is funny (and it generally is, don’t get me wrong), it still seems like leftovers from “Boogie Nights” and “Orgazmo”. And an erotic spoof of “Star Wars”, really? The way the shoot of the porno, after hours at Zack’s workplace, mirrors the conditions in which Smith made “Clerks” is interesting, though.

Alright, I think I’m all bitched out, let’s move on to what I did like about “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”. It was probably not apparent above, but I’m actually a big Seth Rogen fan. What he lacks in chemistry with his leading lady, he makes up in comic timing and foul-mouthed goofiness. Elizabeth Banks is also quite game and funny, as are Kevin Smith regulars Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes, porno stars Traci Lords and Katie Morgan, scene-stealer Craig Robinson and, in a hilarious cameo, Justin Long.

This reliable cast is what saves Kevin Smith’s latest from being a total wash. It remains a disappointing follow-up to “Clerks II”, the filmmaker’s crowning achievement to date in my opinion, but it still packs enough laughs to be worth checking out.