ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO

Poffy The Cucumber

Sweet and Sour Hanky Skanky.

“Sweet” might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking of a movie with the word “Porno” in the title – but that’s exactly what this movie is: a heartfelt romantic comedy.

ZackAndMiriMakeAPorno_captionOh God! I almost vomited – I never thought I’d see the words “heartfelt romantic comedy” typed onto my sacred nihilist keyboard by my very own puffy cartoon gloves.

But ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO is truly an enjoyable Judd Apatow film – made by Kevin Smith! The creator of such street-classics as CLERKS and DOGMA has tried his hand at a genre usually equated with gutless Hollywood types who churn out substanceless, brainless, swoony Chick Flicks for guaranteed sales and quick returns. But Smith takes a few left turns, foremost being the fact that his “chick flick” revolves around a porn movie.

Before you think I’m going soft in both heads, I admit there is also much brainlessness in ZACK AND MIRI, foremost being the issue of whether heterosexual men and women can be Just Friends – as if that was an issue. The simple answer – actually, the only answer – is ‘no.’ And I sincerely thank writer-director Kevin Smith for stating unequivocally with this film what all men know and all women deny: that between a heterosexual single man and heterosexual single woman (who are in each other’s Pumping Paradigm), there is no such thing as Just Friends.

In freezing Pittsburgh, roommates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), friends since high school, are so far behind in their bills that their heat, electricity and water are all turned off.

After a desperate few minutes of options, they hit upon making a porno movie. Stupid? Yes. Funny? This plot point could have flopped to the floor quicker than Sarah Palin’s tightly-strapped mammii at the end of a long day of fear-mongering, but, like Patrick Stewart in STAR TREK, Seth Rogen makes it so.

Taking for granted the audience is ignorant to the fact that making an independent film, porno or otherwise, would COST money before making any, if at all, Kevin Smith boldly continues the stupid throughline to its filthy conclusion.

They make a porno. Through begging for funding, scraping together equipment and hiring D-actors, Zack and Miri keep pretending that the project is merely to pay their bills and rent. But upon “doing it” on set – the first time they’ve ever “known” each other biblically – they realize they have deep feelings for each other.

It can’t be that their “feelings” are 20 years of pentup frustration; of accidentally walking in on each other during showers; of hearing each other masturbate; of talking about each others’ separate sex lives without consummation; of the natural sexual curiosity any man and woman would harbor for each other over years of supposed platonic ambivalence – it can’t be that! It can’t even be that the glutting sensual excitement they felt might have been the dirtiness of doing it in front of a crowd – which would mean they’re born porn actors. But it surely couldn’t be that! It must be because they’re “soul mates.” And the girlie demographic swoons.

Actual porn actresses, booby Katie Morgan and old-timer Traci Lords, proudly un-act so decisively they show us why they’re porn actresses.

Two Smith alumni (Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson) get in on the action as randy actor and wisecracking DP (that’s Director of Photography, not the “other” DP). Surprising that we’re allowed to see actual pumping motions during the filming, Katie Morgan’s assets bouncing tubular in our faces.

The chemistry between the rambunctious Rogen and the beatific Banks is undeniable. We can feel their first-time-entry position in our loins; her glowing acceptance, his driving towards scalding release… In a later scene, as Katie Morgan steals away Zack for a quickie, the emotion that flows between Zack and Miri (as they look at each other sadly and move apart in slow motion) is palpable.

Suffice to say, the endgame was never about paying the rent; to overstate a point, it was about Zack and Miri discovering they liked fucking. Each other. (You know those yawns that are so hard your jawbones crack?) An “interesting” plot point might have been for them to discover they were bisexual, and get it on with Justin Long and Brandon Routh (playing gay guys so badly it’s funny).

If this movie was not as successful as it should have been, it is because people are more afraid of admitting their own dark fantasies and tangled emotions. If we all do what porn actors do, what distinguishes their profession as “pornographic”? Define “pornography.” Merriam-Webster: “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.” Behind closed doors, every Episcopalian, Mormon, Catholic, Essene, Tlingit, Innuit and Republican is EXACTLY THE SAME – procreation through sexual excitement. The Penis Goes In The Vagina. Or none of them would be here to complain about it.

Bravo to Kevin Smith for rejecting the chimera of Just Friends, for waking us all to our inner filth, for giving us more Seth Rogen improv to marvel at, for screwing raw and scat humor and showing us Katie Morgan’s naked ta-tas – and disguising it all as romantic comedy.

Now that’s sweet!

END

ZackAndMiriMakeAPorno_titleZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (Oct 2008) R
Director, Writer: Kevin Smith.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Mewes, Craig Robinson, Jeff Anderson, Ricky Mabe, Traci Lords, Katie Morgan, Jerry Bednob, Justin Long, Brandon Routh.
RATINGS-06
Poffy’s review on imdb
Word Count: 880     No. 440
PREV-NEXT_arrows_Prev PREV-NEXT_arrows_Next
ALPHA-25px_numberALPHA-25px_AALPHA-25px_BALPHA-25px_CALPHA-25px_DALPHA-25px_EALPHA-25px_FALPHA-25px_GALPHA-25px_H
ALPHA-25px_IALPHA-25px_JALPHA-25px_KALPHA-25px_LALPHA-25px_MALPHA-25px_NALPHA-25px_OALPHA-25px_PALPHA-25px_Q
ALPHA-25px_RALPHA-25px_SALPHA-25px_TALPHA-25px_UALPHA-25px_VALPHA-25px_WALPHA-25px_XALPHA-25px_YALPHA-25px_Z
BANNER_Poffy_MailingList
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *