Zack and Miri Make a Porno

With my amnesty over, it’s back to business for the ol’ Popcorn Bucket. So what have I learned from all this? Well, I should try and broaden my horizons a bit, if only to shut my meddlesome “friends” up. Anyway:

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)


Kevin Smith has always been one of my favourite directors/actors/writers. The guy’s genuinely funny, a great storyteller (if you haven’t seen his An Evening With… DVDs you really should seek them out) and you can tell he loves films in general. When I heard the title of his new project, I found it to be very fitting. He’s always done comedies with gross-out elements far funnier than 10 American Pies. Plus, comedy hot property Seth Rogen was in it- I hoped this would get Smith the mainstream recognition he deserves. It’s just a pity that this is his weakest film.

“I’m a guy. You give me a two popsicle sticks and a rubber band and I’ll find a way to fuck it like a filthy MacGyver!”


With the debts mounting and the water cut off , plutonic flatmates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) resort to a lewd money spinner – recruit their friends and shoot a homegrown porn movie. So long as the sex doesn’t get personal, it’ll be just fine, right? The plot itself is a good one. Both Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks are fine, if not really stretching themselves. There are some funny supporting characters too, with Smith’s “hetero life partner” Jason Mewes being especially good. The cameo from Brandon “Superman” Routh was hilarious and gave me a new found respect for the man.

My main problem with the film is that whilst trying to be risqué, Zack and Miri… lacks any real edge. Part of this is due to Smith having his mucky-mouthed comedy crown (undeservedly) stolen by the inexplicably popular Apatow steamroller. Smith’s solution? Cast Seth Rogen and most of the regular supporting cast in his film. As a result, the opening scene in the coffee shop feels like a sequel to The 40 Year Old Virgin. As the film progresses, Jeff “Randall in Clerks” Anderson shows up and we’re back to Smithian ideals. What irritated me about this film was the fact that Kevin Smith seemed to be trying to be mainstream and Apatow-like, whilst trying to maintain his own identity. I honestly believe that if he had forgotten about all the Apatow nonsense and concentrated on being Kevin Smith with this film, people would have responded to it more favourably than they did. I also wish Jay and Silent Bob were in it, there was no reason for them to be omitted and I think there could have been some fantastic gags if they were included.

“What? Han Solo ain’t never had no sex with Princess Leia in the Star War!”

Zack and Miri… isn’t a bad film. It’s damn funny in places and features some great performances. I loved the way the relationship between Zack and Miri was portrayed. The Smith snappy lines of dialogue were there too, just not enough of them. See it if you want a few dirty chuckles and a good story, just don’t expect another Dogma.

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