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For those that don't already know, the second half to that "Zack and
Miri" title is "Make a Porno", three little words that have caused a
lot of fuss lately. In addition to being deliberately shortened on TV,
Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) has had to fight for even the
R-rating, a teaser trailer had to be removed from his website, the
posters for the flick were so raunchy that the characters could only
appear as stick figures(of which Seth Rogen is assuredly not), and
already certain theaters have decided not to show it while openly
showing Saw V and Max Payne without a moments hesitation. All this for
one of the years nicest romantic comedies. "Zack and Miri" is vintage
Kevin Smith, blending the cheerily offensive with heartfelt
sentimentality, and while its nothing groundbreaking or even terribly
gratuitous (sure there are some cock and ball, ass, and boob shots but
what comedy doesn't have those now-adays), it's also one of Smith's
most successful attempts with the formula.
Seth Rogen plays Zack and Elizabeth Banks plays Miri, two best friends living in a crummy little apartment in Pittsburgh. The bills are stacking up , the heat and electricity have been turned off and they're about to be thrown out on their ass. What do two struggling thirty-somethings do? While crashing their High School reunion, they discover that the school's former Quarterback (Superman Return's Brandon Routh) is actually gay and the boyfriend of gay porn star Brandon (Justin Long). This gives Zack an idea and after ruminating over it for a night, he and Miri both decide that a cheap porno is the only way to solve their money woes. They enlist the help of Zack's coffee shop co-worker Delaney (Craig Robinson) to be producer and also bring on a rag tag team of actors (Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson, Traci Lords, Katie Morgan, and Ricky Mabe), first to shoot the movie "Star Whores" with such characters as R2-Teabag, Hung Solo, and Darth Vibrator and then when that encounters a shooting problem, they decide to do a coffee shop porn called "Swallow my Cock-Ucinno".
The problem Smith often encounters is that sometimes it feels like he's throwing F-words, vibrator, pussy, and jerk-off jokes at us a little too easily and it doesn't really jive well with the sweeter side that comes later. As an example, watch "Jersey Girl." Just here he has a good balance for the most part. It starts off a little shaky but settles in nicely with crude jokes that earn big laughs. A diarrhea gag is priceless, a character named Bubbles has a unique talent, and the names themselves are great fun, take the David Mamet inspired "Glen and Garry Suck Ross' Cock" for example. It gets gooey but Smith keeps things down to Earth with an endearing love story about sex and the jealousy and uncomfortable and sensitive nature that surrounds it. It's nothing new. Everything mentioned has been explored to death on every network sitcom ever produced but it keeps its sweetness and that's really what counts here.
Rogen is a big, doughy, lovable ball of enthusiasm and he's always fun to watch. And Banks is adorable, has good comedic chemistry with Rogen but most importantly both actors bring a gentle and heartwarming romance to the screen. The rest of the cast is a big help, starting with "The Offices" Craig Robinson, who nails every line the character has, whether it's defying what he believes to be racism, talking about his wife, or nervously auditioning porn stars, he's the funniest character in the movie hands down. A close second is Justin Long, hilariously flamboyant and filled with gay pride to the point of being applause-worthy, this character deserves his own movie. And Jason Mewes is at his crude best in every scene he's in. "Zack and Miri" gets very good performances from everybody and it manages to do what a lot of romantic comedies this year have not been able to do, which is earn the laughs and earn the love of it's two characters. It's funny, fun, and you don't even need a condom to enjoy it. Let's see "Max Payne" try to make a similar claim.
I love deceptive marketing campaigns. Usually, they make movies
hit-or-misses financially, but deceptive marketing shows a lot of faith
in a film, which is what every viewer should have in this one. Have
faith in the fact that this film, despite being controversial and
borderline wrong in some parts, is one of the funniest and sweetest
romantic comedies of the decade. What happens when you mix Kevin
Smith's witty and snappy dialog with the outrageous humor of a guy like
Seth Rogen? Pure brilliance, that's what.
Z&M is a movie of depth and emotion. Yes, I'm talking about the movie with the extremely blunt title. What I like about both of our 'names', Smith and Rogen, is that no matter how raunchy they get, no matter how much they cross the line, they have a habit of making their films have real heart. It's the same here, and it looks like everyone involved had fun making the film...in every sense of the word...
What makes the movie work so well is the amazing platonic and romantic chemistry of the two leads, Rogen and Elizabeth Banks (who is quickly becoming one of my favorites). I can't think of two performers who have skyrocketed more in terms of fame over the last three years, and to see them together again after The 40 Year Old Virgin was a good treat. They work so well together that I found myself smiling at them in pretty much every scene they share (or, 80% of the movie), and it makes the experience so much better. They really make you feel comfortable and warm inside (I can hear the sex jokes coming already).
It's not just our wonderful leads that make the movie great, it's performers like Jason Mewes (playing a variant of his usual 'Jay' character), Jeff Anderson, and Craig Robinson that really help, because any scene without Banks & Rogen together has Robinson or Mewes, who form a type of foundation for the great performances of Banks & Rogen. Of course, the film features a few porn stars and a few cameos as well, the best coming from Justin Long and Brandon Routh. I was dying.
Of course, not only do you get heart with Rogen and Smith, but you get surefire jaw dropping jokes that will make you say, "did they really just do that?". One of the jokes I'm speaking of comes at Jeff Anderson's expense. The vulgarity of Rogen's comic style, mixed with Smith's wicked fast writing is the perfect compliment and a great recipe for laughter. Z&M certainly won't deliver as many laughs as films like Superbad or Knocked Up, but that's mostly because the film is more serious, desperate, and shorter (but of course, still very light hearted).
I guess the only thing I didn't like was the lack of resolution with the subplot of the actual porno, but that's just wishful thinking, as the end is more than satisfying (as well as clever and hilarious). People are obviously going to be hesitant about seeing this movie because of the blunt title and risqué plot, which in of itself is hilarious, but these reluctant people need to realize that the sex is outweighed by the love, and the raunch outweighed by the righteousness. Zack & Miri Make A Porno is one of the best romantic comedies of the decade, as well as of the year. It's a fun, sweet, heartfelt raunchfest that will leave you laughing your ass off and having a good time. It's the perfect date movie if the person you're taking is receptive to the idea of seeing a movie like this.
I saw this movie at the opening of Fantastic Fest in Austin, with Kevin Smith live. The whole theater was roaring with laughter for at least 3/4 of the movie. If you're a fan of his films, you won't be disappointed. If you're not, get the hell on board, cause this movie is hilarious. The movie has some of his most classic scenes by far, with some great performances and spectacular lines by Justin Long, Rogen, Mewes, and Craig Robinson who steals the show. I guarantee you won't leave the theater unsatisfied. It's like Clerks 2 had sex with Dogma, and left the horrendous emotional scenes at the door, and kept the bad ass dialogue thoroughly intact.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thanks to the aptly named title, brilliantly appointed by Kevin Smith
(writer, director, and creator of the View Askew Universe), you go into
the film with a certain mindset, a dirty one to be exact. This follows
the explicit what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature of every pornographic
film title, a fact that offers hilarious moments as Zack and Miri are
eventually faced with the difficult task of creating a movie title that
says it all.
Yes, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is exactly that, Zack and Miri making a porno. And believe you me, there is plenty of potty mouth to go around. But as dirty as the movie is, you will be surprised and delighted to find that this is a movie with a lot of heart, and as with all Kevin Smith pieces, a great deal of brain (no pun intended).
Zack and Miri have been BFF's since the first grade, which has rendered their relationship strictly platonic. They have never really amounted to much since graduating high school ten years ago, but know that deep down inside they are really much better than the others, or at least tell themselves that.
At the high school reunion, Zack and Miri have to endure the inevitable: the mindless chitchat and feigned nostalgia. The only reason Zack goes is to laugh at people, while Miri goes to show her high school crush what a hottie she's become. To Zack the night is a success, thanks to a hilarious cameo by Justin Long, while Miri's night doesn't quite go as planned. What they come away with is the realization that they really need to do something with their lives, if only to save them from their economic crisis, a story that is not uncommon in America these days. You guessed it. They make a porno.
As silly as it sounds, there is something truly heartfelt, albeit raunchy, about watching Zack and Miri and the rest of their crew make their porn movie. It's kind of like watching Mark Borchardt make his low budget horror flick in the hilarious documentary American Movie, only the porn Zack and Miri and company make is quite possibly the worst porn ever made (okay, okay that may be an exaggeration but you get my point).
All around is a job well done by the cast and cameos. Seth Rogan plays the everyman to a "T" and Elizabeth Banks shines as the high school outcast turned hottie. Their chemistry as platonic friends is golden, and sparks truly fly when their true feelings finally come to light. You'll see familiar faces from both the View Askewniverse and the Apatow family, creating pure hilarity as both of these comic forces collide.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno is less about making a porno than it is about everyday people finding their niche in life. Their niche in life just so happens to be making pornos. Zack and Miri Make a Porno can be synonymous to Joe Six-Pack Becomes a Professional Wrestler, or Joe the Plumber Makes Over $250,000 a Year. Venues who opted not to show this film, I feel are overreacting a bit. Although Kevin Smith's latest certainly lives up to the name, what we ultimately get is a feel-good movie. And a feel-good movie has never felt so good. In the end, Zack and Miri made a porno, and Kevin Smith made an awesome movie.
As Jackie Treehorn laments in The Big Lebowski, pornos these days lack
plot, and production values, and feelings. Kevin Smith's "Zack and Miri
Make a Porno" would make Jackie quite proud.
The basic plot revolves around two friends, Zack and Miri. The two have a platonic relationship and live together. As they hit dire financial straits, Zack suggests they should make a porno and sell it to make money to pay rent, utilities, etc.
I went into this film with some hesitation. I left quite impressed. Seth Rogen proves he can convey emotion and still be funny. Elizabeth Banks provides the perfect on-screen mate for Rogen. However, I feel, as did others who saw the preview, that Craig Robinson (Darrell from The Office) steals nearly every scene he is in.
Zack and Miri heartily earns its R rating. It is easy to see how the MPAA nearly rated it NC-17. No matter the rating, I would whole-heartedly recommend this movie to anyone (with the exception of grandparents).
First off, do not watch this with your parent, grandparents or in-laws.
You can definitely feel that this is a Kevin Smith feel, and the fact
that it has Jason Mewes in it could have been a strong hint also. Zack
and Miri Make a Porno is a strange but enjoyable love story, cleverly
written by Smith so that you do actually feel the romance behind the
No this movie isn't a major Hollywood blockbuster, and it is definitely not for everyone, if you're a prude give it a miss, but if light hearted and don't mind movies with the full range of body organs then I would recommend watching this!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have heard about this movie for a while. I was told it was hilarious,
I was even told I would like it since I like crazy movies.
Well, I was disappointed to say the least. I even began to feel a bit insulted that my friends thought I would like it. The gags were basic kid stuff, nothing special. For example, when Zach put the hand warmer in his pants (for what reason other than to complete the so-called joke, I don't know) if you couldn't see what was coming, your an idiot.
This comedy, I guess you'd classify it as that for sales purposes, relies heavily on profanity. Not that strategically placed F-bombs cant enhance a scene, but this is about all you get. It seems to be the only thing holding this lame attempt together.
In a nut shell here is what you get: Some people telling each other to f-off, some sex scenes (Oh wow...shock me why don't you) and...and...well, I think thats about it really.
Entertaining? No. Funny? Hell no. Herculean attempt to get teeny bopper boys to pay good money to see it? Yeah, I'd say that about sums it up.
For those who love the movies of Kevin Smith (the King of Bathos) as
much as I do, it's important that you wait until you see the bluescreen
before you leave the theater. That's right, watch the titles, wait
*through* the color bar, and don't leave until you see the parental
guidance screen (again). I'd be writing a spoiler if I told you why,
but if you like this movie you'll want to keep watching till it's *all
This clearly is not a movie for prudes or anyone who can be offended by (in no order) making fun of gay people (in a friendly way), making fun of heterosexual people (in a friendly way), poop jokes, in fact, jokes about or show of any bodily function, including copulation, swearwords of any variety, making fun of sex, making fun of marriage, someone sitting on a toilet, um well, offended by just about anything. In fact, if you can be offended by anything except violence and intolerance, this movie is probably not for you.
However, if you'd like some lighthearted fun about cappuccino-flavored love, and you like Kevin Smith's stuff, go for it.
Zack Brown and Miriam Linky are platonic best friends, roommates, and underachievers who've known each other since the first grade. They're both perfectly content with their below average status, until they find themselves eyeball deep in debt and facing the threat of eviction. The solution? Make an adult video hoping it will provide the financial stability they so desperately need, but can their lifelong friendship survive the complication of sex? On the surface this raunchy comedy is nothing more than an outrageously vulgar, foulmouthed version of When Harry met Sally, but at its heart is a sweet, genuine, and believable analysis of the frailties prevalent in a male-female friendship. Not always uproariously funny, but easily likable with a script that challenges viewers to keep track of enough sexually explicit dialogue for three films! Rogen and Banks have great chemistry. ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sophomoric, inane, predictable "comedy" that uses the "F" word, lame
sex jokes and boob shots in order to entertain 12 year old males.
If you have at least made it to high school and have the mental capacity of a teen, you will NOT find this funny. However, if you just hitting puberty and think hearing "adults" telling each other to "F" off is the pinnacle of comedy, or "adults" talking about sex is your idea of comedic genius and you have never seen a boobie...this movie is for you.
OK, I'll quit beating around the bush and put it plain and simple. This movie F'ing sux. (See, I can be F'ing funny too.)
BTW: I added the spoiler tag because the second paragraph IS the whole movie.
Just seen the movie Idiocracy. Zach and Miri welcome you to it. Enough said.
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