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November 2008

by Wilson Morales


Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Kevin Smith
Screenwriter: Kevin Smith
Cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Traci Lords, Katie Morgan, Ricky Mabe, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes
Rating: R (for strong crude sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity and pervasive language)


Despite its provocative title, Kevin Smith's ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’ is just your good old fashioned romantic comedy disguised in a sex farce. If you were ever a fan of Smith's early work with 'Clerks' and 'Chasing Amy', you will enjoy this film. With red-hot actors Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as the leads, the film is utterly funny, charming and entertaining.

Set in Pittsburgh during the winter, Zack and Miri are longtime roommates who are experiencing some financial woes. With little money on the side, the electricity in the apartment and then the water goes as well. While attending a high school reunion, Zack meets up with an old friend who happens to be doing well as a porn actor, and hence, he develops an idea. If he can get Miri to agree, they can make a porn film of their own to pay the bills and live modestly. When the question of who will they get to be in the film, he suggests that they star in it with the clincher being that they will have sex with each other.

Zack and Miri have been best friends since the first grade and suddenly this platonic relationship is reaching new heights. Aided by the support of his friend (Robinson) as his producer of the film, Zack gathers a strange group of individuals to start the film but as the sex scene with Miri approaches, his untapped feelings for her start to show as the same goes for her.

The thing that works with 'Zack and Miri' is not only the chemistry between Rogen and Banks, but Smith's writing is on par with his early works. Make no mistake; Smith's is a diehard romantic. While it may seem irregular for some to think that 'porno' in the title suggest gravitations sex, it's far from it. While there are some scenes not meant for kids, this film wouldn't even make the late shows on Cinemax. Platonic relationships that get tested in films are always a good formula for romantic comedies and it works here. With Robinson from 'The Office' and Smith's buddies from his other films (Mewes and Anderson), the comedic scenes are outrageous. To add some flavor, Smith went out and added real porn Katie Morgan and ex-porn star Traci Lords to the cast. If you want to see comedy filled with romance and some sex, then you have to see this film. Its style may seem bizarre, but the substance is on the level.