Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno chronicles the misadventures of Zack and Miri, they're so desperately in need of money they decide to make an adult film to pay the bills. Zack and Miri have been friends since childhood, but never intimate. Most of the movie's humour comes out of the inherent awkwardness of amateurs putting together a porno production and Zack and Miri's verbal dancing in anticipation of "doing the nasty" together. In spite of a great cast and some funny moments I was mostly bored.

Rated: 1.5 / 5

Desparate times call for desperate measures. Beyond broke and about to lose their apartment Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Or try to. The movie starts as they're hitting rock bottom and follows them through their movie production adventure.

Stylistically Zack and Miri Make a Porno is pure Kevin Smith. The dialog, visual ascetic, and settings are all classic Smith. This can be either good or bad, depending on how much you like Smith's style. For me it's good (though I wouldn't penalize Smith for doing something different). All of the cast were great. Traci Lords and Katie Morgan, who have both worked professionally in the porn industry, were excellent in supporting roles with Smith regulars Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson. The high school reunion cameo by Justin Long is stand out. The chemistry between Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as long time friends really worked for me, but as blossoming lovers I didn't feel any smoldering heat about to burst into flame, and that was a problem.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno just didn't capture my interest. In spite of some funny scenes and a great cast the overall movie was not compelling. Although most of the humour came from the awkwardness of "regular" people trying to make an adult film, the central theme was the relationship between Zack and Miri and their awkwardness at discovering but not admitting their true feeling for each other. Smith did a great job of handling a similar situation in Clerks 2 but failed here. At times the scenes between Rogen and Banks felt like a bad romantic comedy, not the irreverent comedy Zack and Miri otherwise was and Smith is good at1.

Special mention to the very funny Star Wars homage and erotic re-imagining, "Star Whores". Sadly, it's the best porn movie that never was. We'll never see the likes of Princess Lay-Her, Lube Skyballer and Hung So-Low — dildo-sabers in hand — save the galaxy from Darth Vibrator.

As much as I love Kevin Smith's humour and most of his back-catalogue I can't recommend Zack and Miri Make a Porno. It wasn't that it was bad, it simply wasn't that interesting.

[1] I like romantic comedies and it might be fun seeing Smith collaborate with an established RomCom writer to make one. Preferably female so the women characters ring more true.

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