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Something's Missing in Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Published October 31, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Dimension Films
Zack and Miri Make a Porno PosterZack and Miri Make a Porno
This was bound to happen. I've had the good fortune to get to know Kevin Smith personally, and I have so far loved every single one of his films, especially Jersey Girl. But at some point I was going to have to give something he made a negative review. This shouldn't matter to his fans, because I know I would still see any Kevin Smith movie no matter what I read about it.

Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno


I felt like Zack and Miri was missing the observational dialogues and monologues that I love to hear. Perhaps it was the improvisational influence of Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson, or maybe this one was supposed to have less of Smith's own viewpoint. But I want to know what Kevin Smith thinks of the world through his characters.

Certainly Craig Robinson doing black/white schtick doesn't do anything for me. That feels like something Robinson would come up with, but maybe it was scripted. Either way, it's too easy. When Chris Rock did it in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, he was making fun of angry filmmakers and hapless assistants.

The porno stuff actually seems really tame to me. The sex scenes are really innocent compared to the stuff Smith has talked about on stage or put in previous movies. God, how jaded am I that I need dirtier porn to make me laugh? And the MPAA thought this should be NC-17 but here I am saying, "Nah, not dirty enough."



I personally wasn't into the story of platonic friends getting sexual as I was with the story of a tragically single father in Jersey Girl or a lesbian crush in Chasing Amy. Just didn't speak to me the same way.

However, Zack and Miri achieves what no Hollywood romantic comedy ever did, which is the idea of a man and woman as platonic friends. In Hollywood, it's just something people say until they hook up. In this movie, there is NO romantic tension between them at all, yet they are totally intimate partners who know everything about each other. So it creates the relationship and dilemma it intends to.

Elizabeth Banks can really act sex. I mean, the moment when she and Zack finally do it for the camera goes from the awkward lame amateur acting of pornos to the real throws of passion from a woman. That totally sells the emotional consequences that follow.

Look at me analyzing the details of a movie with pussy bubbles and assisted masturbation in it. I'm just happy my job is to enjoy art and have dialogue with the filmmakers.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Dimension Films
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