Review of Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno ... but not a comedy.

Betty at the Movies

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

…too bad they couldn’t make a comedy

- Carrie Seim

I revel in distasteful, scatological and sexual humor. I wept with laughter when Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat compared his wife’s “vazhïn” to the drooping sleeve of wizard. I giggled for days at the piles of penis doodles in Superbad.
So my disappointment in the just-released Zack and Miri Make a Porno is not coming from the puritanical Nebraskan in me. It’s coming from the part of me that believes sexual humor should be, well, humorous.

Director Kevin Smith promises to weave a heartfelt tale about platonic pals Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), who resort to shooting a porno in order to save themselves from eviction. In the process, they blur the lines between friendship, sex and love.
This is fertile ground, but requires careful wit and abundant heart. Smith delivers neither. Instead, we get a rough, mechanical story that lacks intimacy or playfulness.

An hour into Zack and Miri – after endless references to taints, anal sex, vibrators, anal sex, vagina-shaped sex toys disguised as flashlights and anal sex – I kept waiting for something funny to happen. I would have settled for something titillating, after movie posters for the film were banned for overtly hinting at oral sex.

But despite graphic sex scenes and gooey confessions of love, Zack and Miri amounts to little more than a string of tired racial and homophobic jokes. Ordering black coffee from a black man? Oh, the hilarity.

Perhaps taking a page from the genre it’s parodying, the film cuts out the charm of clever adult comedy and leaves us with an uninspired pile of “titty” and shit jokes.

Zack and Miri does deliver some fun cameos. Adult film stars Traci Lords and Katie Morgan appear as – you guessed it – adult film stars. And Justin Long gives a brief but hysterical performance as a gay porn star. Rogen charms and Banks shimmers, but this porno never scores its money shot.


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