TRAILERS & CLIPS
ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (2008)
Looking back at Kevin Smith’s filmography, it should not come as a surprise that he would venture into porn – especially considering his unhealthy obsession cock jokes– with his latest venture, gross out comedy (with much more emphasis on the gross), Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
Featuring a cast heavily borrowed from the films of Judd Apatow (who has taken Smith’s patent for adult themed comedies to a whole new level), Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks –the former a one note actor who already blew his load in Knocked Up; the latter a prolific actress who constantly undercuts her talent by appearing in dross such as this – star as Zack and Miri, lifelong platonic friends and roommates, who find themselves without utilities after not being able to pay their bills.
This critic would care had they not been a pair of tossers. Seriously, who spends money on sex toys while in such dire straits?
After meeting a pair of gay porn stars (Justin Long and Brandon Routh) who lay claim to make $100,000 a year in the porn business, Zack pitches the idea that he and Miri should make and sell a porn video to pay the bills. Miri agrees, and they go on to assemble a group of porno wannabes. Among them is former underage porn actress Traci Lords; current porn actress Katie Morgan; and Smith regular Jason Mewes, who plays porno amateur Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
(Note: yes, the word porn -or porno- is mentioned seven times in the last paragraph. Just an example on how Smith crams the concept down the viewer’s throat. Wait a minute..... ewwwwww!)
Another Smith alumnus, Jeff Anderson, takes on camera man duties; and regular Apatow cast member Craig Robinson plays the part of the producer, and delivers the best lines, even though they are limited.
Perhaps to prove that there is depth behind his smut, Smith pulls a switch-a-roo and turns his porno story into a love story between his two leads, proving that if you mix shit with roses, it still leaves a stink.
And shit is exactly what this is.
To justify their making a porno, Zack preaches how porn has become mainstream, like Pepsi, only “with dicks in it”. This reminds of a popular spiel by comedian Bill Hicks, who spoke of the lows advertisers will go to sell their product. Ditto Kevin Smith, who has placed a black mark on an otherwise solid filmography, by selling himself short in a bid to shock new viewers, and win back old ones, after falling out with many after the too sweet for comfort, Jersey Girl.
The dialogue in particular – a Smith speciality – which was once funny and relevant, now feels tiresome, dragged down by way too much cussing, which he poorly misjudged as a suitable substitute to a punch line.
Look, if the idea of watching Traci Lords sodomise a man with a strap on; or having Jeff Anderson “frosted” with a porn starlets faeces appeals, than by all means enjoy.
However, this critic can’t help but shake the irony of Smith writing a scene, where his protagonists rip apart Paris Hilton and Girl’s Gone Wide creator Joe Francis for their endeavours into porn, when Smith himself has now placed himself in their league, due to this muck.