Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno


If Kevin Smith didn't exist American cinema would have to invent him. Whatever you think of Clerks it stands as a shining example of 90s indie spirit, rugged tough-love filmmaking, and has influenced everything that came afterwards from the Farrelly Brothers to the latest comic kid on the block Judd Apatow. What Smith dishes is foul mouthed to the max, however Smith can't hide his sweetness and his singular version of religious devotion (Dogma could only have been made by a believer.) and that makes his message one of forgiveness rather than raunch.
As nasty as Zack and Miri Make A Porno tries to be it still resembles a formulaic old school romancer where the guy who has been in love with the girl for years hesitates to tell her. Financially struggling roommates Zack and Miri (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, the new It Girl of the moment) decide to make some quick cash by making a stag film. Naturally they have no trouble finding volunteers. Perhaps the funniest sequence involves two peripheral players (Brandon Routh and Justin Long) that Zack and Miri meet at their 10th year high school reunion. In fact the film should have been about Routh and Long judging from the laugh count in this scene and some B-roll footage in the closing credit roll.
The cast mixes real adult film personalities with name actors and even a couple of Smith regulars like Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes. The film's funnier in the beginning but doesn't lose steam in the final lap. Smith even tosses in some prime Star Wars gags. Smith must be a devotee of Yoda because where other filmmakers try to be funny, Smith just is funny. Smith's in your face juvenile sense of humor provides the laugh of recognition. I'd take his mocking view of the world over the Get Smarts and Love Gurus that Hollywood deems funny any day.


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