Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Tender Romance With Poop and Penis Jokes

Kevin Smith doesn’t know where to put the camera. Kevin Smith thinks swear words make a line funny. Kevin Smith doesn’t know how to effectively edit. So why do I still find his movies enjoyable? Perhaps it’s that everyman feel of his voice—he’s just an average dude. Plus, his flair for the sexual and scatological humor certainly appeal to the potty-mouthed teen within. Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a deeply flawed movie, and not close to his funniest, most earnest, most personal, or most ambitious. Still, I doubt his fans will be too disappointed.

The plot– as if it matters in a Kevin Smith movie– follows Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), two friends since kindergarten who now live together in Pittsburgh—but they’re just friends (even though we know how this will turn out). They can’t pay the bills, so their water, heat, and electricity are all turned off. What to do? After an encounter with a former high school classmate and his lover who now work in adult entertainment (Brandon Routh and Justin Long), Zack has a brilliant idea. Make a porno! Everyone likes to watch those! And thanks to Miri’s newfound stardom as a Youtube sensation—she was taped wearing granny panties—everyone will want to see it. But will Zack want everyone to see Miri naked? Will Miri be okay with Zack sleeping with other actresses?

Smith does a fine job with the tender moments—using real actors who weren’t just buddies of his from previous films serves him well. In fact, the tender moments are so nice that one wonders why boobs, poop, and penises have to interject every one of them—it’s as if Smith is afraid that his young male fan base will run from the theater screaming unless something pertaining to private parts or bodily fluids is mentioned. I’m all for jokes about private parts and bodily fluids… in fact, several jokes made me laugh out loud, most of them courtesy of Craig Robinson from The Office. The scene with he and his wife (Tisha Campbell) is probably the best in the film—two charming actors swearing at each other, acting like husband and wife. It actually felt real, unlike two twenty-somethings and a get-rich-quick porn scheme.

For as real as the setting is—the economic climate is as chilly as a wintry Pittsburgh—you do not for a second believe that their porno will actually succeed. The ending cops out as well, and although the success of the porno is not the key point of the film, it certainly has a lot to do with just how happy their happy ending is. No couple stays happy with no heat and water for very long. Rogen and Banks are charming, and the entire supporting cast is game, including some old Smith stand-bys (Jason Mewes as a porn star, and Jeff Anderson, partaking in the film solely so he can be underneath a couple when they… and then she… oh fine, I won’t spoil it).

It’s a shame though—the increase in the quality of the cast makes the deficiencies of Smith as a filmmaker all the more evident. There was clearly some ad-libbing in this film, which worked, but Smith has never had more trouble editing than in this film. The Justin Long/Brandon Routh bit goes on for an excruciating amount of time, and it’s not the only scene. Also, aesthetically, Smith’s never been gifted, but it seems like especially haphazard camerawork this time around. The camera moves more, tries for many new angles, but none of them really work, and some of them are distracting from the moment—when we see Miri in a moment of pure bliss, the camera all of a sudden is directly above her as she’s on her back, looking directly at her face. I could quote examples for days. Still, Smith’s charm comes through in the end and it’s a fine enough diversion for ninety minutes, especially for those who’ve enjoyed his previous outings. Or for those simply craving for more poop and penis jokes— Kevin Smith definitely has your medicine.

Advertisements

~ by russellhainline on January 10, 2009.

4 Responses to “Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Tender Romance With Poop and Penis Jokes”

  1. Wonderful, what a web site it is! This web site provides helpful facts
    to us, keep it up.

  2. It’s truly a nice and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply
    shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out more details.

  4. Attractive component to content. I just stumbled upon your web
    site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your augment and even I achievement you get right of entry to constantly rapidly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: