Posted: 11/03/2008

 

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

(2008)

by Laura Tucker




Film Monthly Home
Archives
Wayne Case
Interviews
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Horror
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Television
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

Speaking strictly hypothetically, if Seth Rogen called me up and asked me to make a movie with him, I’d jump at the chance, probably even if it had the word “porno” in the title. He seems to be the golden child of American movies lately, not seeming able to churn out a bad product. Of course, including a collection of his friends in his films usually seems to help as well.

Many of Rogen’s movies are written, produced, and/or directed by Jude Apataw, but Zack and Miri Make a Porno reaches past Apataw to Kevin Smith for the writing and directing honors. While he’s content with this film to be silent in the background, you know him better for his other silent role, Silent Bob. Surprisingly, this is the first time Rogen and Smith appear to have worked together.

Rogen has the title role of Zack in the film, a guy who seems to be a ne’er-do-well, much like many of his other roles. He works as a coffee barista for an incorrigible boss and lives with his best friend since 1st grade, Miri “Stinky” Linky (Elizabeth Banks, who appeared in 40-year-old Virgin with Rogen). In honor of their class reunion, she comes to the coffee shop to try on some outfits, wanting Zack’s opinion. A couple of teenage boys catch Miri from behind, literally, viewing her changing clothes in her “granny panties.” They capture the moment on video from their cell phone and send it to youtube.

Later at the class reunion, Miri wants to meet up with the guy that coined her nickname of “Stinky”, Bobby Long (Brandon Routh), to show how much she’s grown and perhaps go home with him that night. It turns out he has other plans, as he’s already there with a date, a porn star that appears in all male films, Brandon (Justin Long). Brandon talks to Zack, telling him how much money he makes in the porn industry, saying he produces his own films to control those assets. He immediately recognizes Miri as the Granny Panties girl, with the youtube video already making its rounds.

Zach and Miri return home to find their electricity has been turned off after Zack fell several months behind in paying the bill. Before they left for the reunion, their water had also been turned off. With the thoughts running through Zack’s mind of how much money there is to be made in the porn industry, he suggests he and Miri should make a porno together, to capitalize on her Granny Panties fame, and despite the fact their relationship has always been strictly platonic before. It’s one of those things that you joke about at first, and the longer you joke about it, the more it becomes serious.

Their simple little porno becomes more complex as they need money to get it started and decide to make a real movie. They hire Zack’s coworker at the coffee place, Delaney (Chris Robinson, who also appeared with Rogen in Pineapple Express and Knocked Up), to produce, as he fronts the money for the production. Auditions are held, and they hire two women, Bubbles and Stacey (ex-porn star Traci Lords and current porn star Katie Morgan). Hired as actors are Lester the Molester (Jason Mewes, the not silent partner of Silent Bob) and Barry (Ricky Mabe).

As is the case with most Rogen films, the humor doesn’t hold back at all, with much of it being unfit to reprint here, or at least to reprint here without making me blush. One of the more tamer comments is when Zack says he doesn’t really need fancy sex toys. All he really needs is two popsicle sticks and a rubber band, like some filthy McGyver.

While the humor was quite expected, what wasn’t was the romance in the film. My husband called it more of a chick flick than anything else, but I think it was really a combination of sexual situations and nudity, along with a little bit of romantic comedy. Somewhat like Knocked Up, but with more sexual situations and nudity. Nevertheless, despite his comment, rest assured that he was laughing louder than anyone else in the theater, and I was laughing just as much.

Laura Tucker  is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.



Got a problem? E-mail us at filmmonthly@gmail.com