Login

Zack And Miri Make A Porno Review

Image for Zack And Miri Make A Porno

With the debts mounting and the water cut off , plutonic flatmates Zak (Rogen) and Miri (Banks) resort to a lewd money spinner - recruit their friends and shoot a homegroan porn movie. So long as the sex doesn't get personal, it'll be just fine...

★★★★★

Over the past few years, Kevin Smith, indie master of the mucky mouthed comedy with a warm, sticky centre, has seen his chunder stolen by Judd Apatow, whose similarly loveable, ribald yukfests have drawn audiences Smith could only dream of. Whether you're a member of the faithful or not, it's about time the New Jersey nerdzilla had a hit as whopping as his waistline, and, teaming up with Apatow's own filthbag muse Seth Rogen, Zak And Miri could be just the thing.

This is, by some stretch, Smith's most commercial movie to date, a traditional romcom strapped into a comedy dildo. Actually, maybe that should be rom-cum, but for all its freewheeling filth, scat slapstick and theorising on the laxative properties of anal sex, at heart it's a formula feelgood romp that's so stuck to the boy-meets-girl beats he may as well have called it When Harry Humped Sally. In fact, it often feels like a movie split into two - the Zack & Miri bits and the Make A Porno bits, and only one half's faking it.

Visually, the film's as pragmatic, flair-free and plonk-it-down as ever, but you don't see a Kevin Smith movie for popping eye sockets - you come for the ear-assault dialogue, and there are big, fast laughs to be had from the relentless trash talk ("I will be your sherpa up the mountain of gayness" anyone?). Actually, the whole Making A Porno schtick is a spunky riot, be it the plywood acting, a bubbly Traci Lords, Jason Mewes' "Dutch Ruddering" or a brief Star Whores spoof (Hung Solo, Lube Skyballer, R2-T-Bag, thankfully no Droolbacca) that cuts /just/ close enough to the boner to keep the Lucas writs at bay. The farce is strong in this one - unfortunately, so is the whiff of cheese.

Walking man-perm Rogen and the perky Banks share an easy, effortless chemistry but when the movie tries to get "serious" with their post-coital relationship, the going gets gooey, the bawdy tone slips and the pacing slurps to a halt. Smith's overly sweet tooth has sabotaged him before, and sure enough, come the tinkly-music climax, you think you'd walked into a John Hughes movie. All those clumsy cornball tactics suggests Smith really should have more confidence in his characters and the end effect is like being beaten over the head with a Valentine's card.

Still, subtlety was never Smith's strongpoint - it's par for the coarse - and a spirited ensemble and sheer volume of shuddering belly laughs more than see it through. Our advice? Just go with the flow, get your comic rocks off and worry about the mess afterwards.

Crude, hilarious, if a little corny, Smith's latest hardcore comedy is right on the money shot.