Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Written by admin on . No Comment, 156 views

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Review (7/10)
(By Erin Cullin)

Of all of the screenings at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I must admit that the North American premiere of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” seemed to be the odd man out.

Sure, TIFF has had its share of “avant garde” films, and has never been afraid of a bit of controversy, or nudity, or coarse language - but to take on Kevin Smith, one of the masters of potty-mouthed comedy - seemed to me to be a bit of a stretch, even for the Toronto International Film Festival.

After doing a bit of research I discovered, much to my surprise, that this was Kevin Smith’s third trip to TIFF. He screened his first feature length film, “Clerks” at the Festival in 1994. He returned in 1999 with “Dogma”. So, after feeling the sting of critical and commercial failure, I suppose it only made sense that Smith would return to where it all began with the film that he must secretly have been hoping would revive his flagging career.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno” is a romantic comedy about two lifelong friends and roommates who find themselves forced to sink into the depths of depravity in order to avoid certain homelessness. Zack Brown (Seth Rogen) and Miriam Linky (Elizabeth Banks) have not taken the world by storm since their graduation from high school. Miriam, a mall employee, and Zack, a disgruntled barista, are living on the brink of poverty in a squalid apartment in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. As their debts begin to mount, they find their utilities being disconnected and face the real prospect of eviction when they are unable to raise the funds for their upcoming month’s rent. With few skills and even fewer opportunities, they decide to tap into the internet pornography market as a source of fundraising. But, will their only valuable asset - their friendship - survive the film’s production?

As is the case with most films starring Seth Rogen, I begin this film with a large flag of caution - this is not the film for everyone. “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” is a film that is vulgar within every possible definition of that word. Anyone familiar with Kevin Smith’s previous work will be aware that he is no stranger to profanity. With that in mind, let me just say that this film is “classic” Kevin Smith. If that were not enough, this film has the added “porno” element - the inclusion of this word in the title is no accident. This film barely received an “R” rating - it would therefore be wise for any potential viewers to proceed with extreme caution.

With that being said “Zack and Miri” is, at its core, a very sweet romantic comedy. Seth Rogen recaptures the character of the oversized oaf that made him famous in “Knocked Up”. Elizabeth Banks (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rachel McAdam) demonstrates an impressive range as an actress (how many people could convincingly play both Laura Bush and an amateur porn star within the same month) and in doing so creates a character who is simultaneously appealing and vulnerable. Rounding out the film are supporting cast members including Jason Mewes, Traci Lords and Justin Long, who offer a few “laugh out loud moments” that result in one of the more unconventional films to hit theaters in recent memory.

“Zack and Miri” represents a true return to form for Kevin Smith. After learning the hard way that he is not destined to write a “clean” romantic comedy (“Jersey Girl”), Smith has returned to the genre that he knows best - a comedy that you would be embarrassed to watch with your mother. I will be honest and say that there were a few moments during this film that left me reviled and offended (what can I say, I am getting too old for some of these things), but there were far more that left me amused, and, during a year that has had a drought of good comedies, being amused most of the time is better than not at all.


Trailer

Keyword : Eli, Hop, Seth Rogen, Traci Lords, Elizabeth Banks, Comedy, Romantic, School, You, A Di, Jason, Ant, Accident, Apartment, Ate, Connected, Cover, EMI, Ex, Face, Felon, Festival, Friendship, Good, Here, High School, Jersey Girl, Knocked Up, Liar, Memory, Out, Rachel, Red, Rent, Return, Roommate, Run, RV, Screen, Secret, Take, Taken, Up, War, Will, With You, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Avant, Avant Garde, FILM, GTH, Bi, Eric, Now, Ryo, Lance, Aris, Cas, Ron, Tia


Share This :