Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is very, how do you say… directed by Kevin Smith.  His dialogue snaps like it always has and is perfectly channeled through Seth Rogen as Zack.  Elizabeth Banks pulls off the role of guy’s girl Miri pretty well, though she’s still JD’s love interest Kim Briggs as far as I’m concerned.  Anyway, the two are broke roommates who have been living in Monroeville (the Pittsburgh suburb of Dawn of the Dead fame) for their entire lives.  While attending a class reunion, Zack and Miri meet gay porn star Brandon St. Randy played by Justin Long, who already has a decent porn name.  Eventually, the two figure that shooting a porno could make them some fast cash.  With the help of their friend and newfound producer Delaney (played by Craig Robinson of The Office), they put together a ragtag group to shoot their movie.zack-miri1

From there, the plot unfolds like you would expect with Zack and Miri discovering their true feelings for each other and that disrupting the making of their porno.  I don’t feel like that is a spoiler, as there really aren’t any surprises along the way.  I don’t have a problem with a predictable plot on its own; if the witty dialogue keeps me laughing, I’m satisified.  However, the second half falls a bit flat as the necessary exposition overtakes the humor.

For all the business with the film having to appeal its MPAA rating of NC-17 down to R, there wasn’t that much nudity in it.  In fact, I think if there was any less, it would put the film in the same class as The Amateurs – a film afraid of its own premise.  But then I don’t pretend to understand anything about the MPAA’s rating system, which puts torture porn like The Passion of the Christ at the same level of as The Matrix.

As I mentioned above, the film takes place and is shot in Monroeville and Pittsburgh.  Zack and Miri both have Penguins gear in the opening sequence and we later meet a drunken Steelers fan.  One of the scenes near the end of the film takes place outside of the Mellon Arena and we’re given a few shots of downtown Pittsburgh.

All in all, Zack and Miri is a generally hilarious film with a functional plot that survives on its wit and characters.  Oh, and stick around after the credits for the full ending.

Arbitrary song of the day: Akon – Never Gonna Get It

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