Zack and Miri Make a Porno movie poster
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Zack and Miri Make a Porno movie poster

Zack and Miri Make a Porno Movie Review

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Kevin Smith's latest film that is apparently so controversial that it hasn't been able to advertise its whole title through a variety of advertising methods, stars comedy wunderkind Seth Rogen and hottie Elizabeth Banks. The pairing of Rogen, who is undoubtedly at the peak of his career right now, and Smith, the father of modern, profanity-filled comedies, is a masterstroke. While neither of their best, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a funny, entertaining, and despite its billing as controversial - and its title - sweet romantic comedy.

Rogen and Banks star as a plutonic couple who have been best friends since elementary school, but who have fallen on hard times and are having trouble paying their bills. When their electricity and water get switched off, they resort to the only logical course of action: make a porno, and make lots of money. While my argument would be that anybody can get amateur porn online for free or quite cheap, they plan to make $20 a pop by selling DVDs to their high school reunion mailing list. Of course, through the course of filming the porno, they realize that they love each other. How sweet life is.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is an oddly sweet film, but one shouldn't be surprised; Smith is the best at turning edgy, profanity-laden dialogue and simple stories into movies with likable characters one can relate to. The romantic element is there, though guys should not be frightened: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is quintessential Kevin Smith, or at least Kevin-Smith-meets-Seth-Rogen humor. Those who are offended by swearing should avoid this picture, as it has more swear words than most other films released in 2008 combined. Then again, those poor saps who are offended by sex won't like this picture either, as there is a lot of graphic sex, and one very disastrous anal sex scene. However, as with most Kevin Smith films, the swearing and sex aren't there simply to have swearing and sex; the dialogue is hilariously witty, and the sex plays into the screenplay as well.

There are very few flaws with the movie. The first half is funnier than the second half, as the third act has some sequences that are a little more serious and quasi-romantic. The movie does lose its edge in a few small spots, but never truly falters.

On the flip side, the casting is pitch perfect. Rogen and Banks have great chemistry together; Banks especially is terrific. She's hot, funny and can play the goofy best friend card quite well; it's great to see her getting an influx of roles, especially ones suited to her brand of humor. Supporting actors are also great, including Craig Robinson (Darryl from "The Office") and Justin Long as an emotional gay porn star. Long's sole scene is a highlight of the film.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is one of the funniest movies of 2008, and works on many levels. The acting is great, the writing edgy and the story oddly touching. Highly recommended.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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