Saturday, November 01, 2008
Movie Reviews: Zack and Miri Make a Porno
ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO
Kevin Smith writes and directs his newest comedy for The Weinstein with Zack & Miri Make a Porno, the story of two friends (Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks) who get into the amateur porn business to combat their rising debt, only to realize their underlying feelings for each other while doing so.
Cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson
Director: Kevin Smith
Opened October 31, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 41 min.
Rated R for strong crude sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity and
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Sex Comedy, Comedy
Zach and Miri Mark a Porno feels like it's late to Apatow party and Kevin Smith doesn't quite have the talent to effectively merge the rom-com with the vulgarity. What Zach and Miri aspires to be has already been done in films like 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad. The themes touched on here have been done and done more effectively I might add. Smith's direction has always been questionable and here it's typically uneven, we're even blessed with a dancing montage half way through the film. His strength has always been his writing; sadly here the script isn't nearly as strong as his past entries. A few gems are thrown out here and there but most of the script feels flat and forced. To be honest most of it is saved by a fairly effective cast. Rogan plays what he's played since he's hit the scene, the goofy teddy bear of a geek with a foul mouth and a heart of gold. He delivers his lines with his usual naturalism. Rogan and Elizabeth Banks have good chemistry together but the film leaves me feeling there could have been more done with the relationship outside of some very clichéd situations. Banks is solid in her role but she isn't quite as capable of hiding the scripts flaws as Rogen. Craig Robinson, Darryl from The Office, has a fun supporting role using his wonderful comedic timing while delivering some truly funny lines. Smith regulars Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson also have supporting roles along with former porn queen Traci Lords but for the most part, outside of some sight gags, they are just window dressing for the main stars. Anderson is the sad recipient of an unneeded and tired gross out gag. The much talked about sex scenes, which apparently got the film banned in Utah, are graphic but nothing that hasn't been seen on screen before in other racy films. Once you disrobe Zach and Miri Make a Porno of its bawdy pretext, your left with the most basic of romantic comedy plots that can't help but leave you feeling a bit teased. Smith's film feels like it should have been better and the conceit could have been interesting and funny in a ground breaking way if done effectively, sadly this mostly misses the mark.