Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Or, “What I did on Saturday”

Most people have a fairly fixed idea in their minds about what a rom-com is; this isn’t what most people would have in mind. But a rom-com is what this movie is, and if you accept that pretty early you will find it much easier to enjoy than the rather mixed critical write-ups have perhaps suggested. But bear in mind, this is a rom-com filtered through the eyes of Kevin Smith 🙂

Zack and Miri have been friends since first grade. They live together in an apartment in Monroeville and struggle through dead-end jobs to make ends meet, though the unpaid bills are steadily piling up.

Things come to a head on the night of their high-school reunion on the night before thanksgiving, which begins with their power and water being cut off. It doesn’t help that Miri has already become an unwitting viral internet video star, because of her ‘granny pants’. Once at the reunion the pair are reminded of their less than happy high-school careers, especially when Miri crashes and burns spectacularly in trying to proposition her teenage crush, Bobby Long, who turns out to be gay and there with his partner, a gay porn star.

Faced with being homeless and destitute, both Zack and Miri decide that dignity is no longer an option, and that they should try making a porn film to make some money. So it is that Zack and Miri round up a motley crew to finance and star in their movie. Zack’s coffee shop workmate, Delaney, fronts some money and acts as producer on a promise of, ‘seeing some titties’. They also find cameraman Deacon; Bubbles, who has a neat trick learned for bachelor parties; Lester, pole dancer Stacy and Barry, who certainly flowers as the film progresses.

After some deliberation the gang find a studio and prepare to make their magnum opus Star Whores, before disaster strikes and their studio is demolished just as they are about to start. After much agonising Zack realises that the coffee shop is the perfect setting for a porn film and, even better, is a low-cost solution to their problem.

Everything is going fine until Zack and Miri have to film their scene together. That’s when the complications start…

The first thing to be said is that if you don’t like Kevin Smith’s other stuff, it’s a fair bet to say this film won’t light up your world. If you do, you’ll love it. It has all of those Smith elements in spades: great dialogue, potty-mouthed and puerile humour. Underneath, however,is a rather sweet rumination on male/female friendships. Superficially, it looks as if the relationship between Zack and Miri is ridiculous and not believable. However, fairly early on it is established that these two have been together as friends through some difficult childhood and teenage years, so have a very strong bond between them. Jason Mewes is a riot as Lester, the instantly priapic satyromaniac and Jeff Anderson, who is on the end (no pun intended) of a truly gross and hilarious anal sex gag.

This film won’t change the world, but supplementing the stock Smith crudity and prolixity, there is a rather sweet and touching film. I loved it.

Oh yeah, and if you do go to see it, make sure you stay and watch right until the end.

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