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Zack And Miri Make A Porno

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Zack And Miri Make A Porno
Director: Kevin Smith
Screenwriter: Kevin Smith
Starring: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson
Running Time: 102 mins
Certificate: 18

Kevin Smith's latest offering provides a constant stream of laughs throughout its duration, but crucially fails to nail the emotional realism it tries so hard to achieve. Although falling short of the complete movie it sought to be, Zack And Miri Make A Porno is still great escapist fun all the family - provided your family is of suitable age and digs very liberal jokes about femdom, anal sex and xxxxxx xxx. Exactly.

Deep in financial trouble, platonic flatmates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miriam (Elizabeth Banks) decide that the best way to generate quick cash is to make their own porn movie. After enlisting several friends and embarking on a casting process reminiscent of The Full Monty, the couple struggle to keep the project afloat once sexual jealousy suddenly kicks in. The sudden demolition of their makeshift studio doesn't help either.

Well cast and enjoyably diverting, Zack And Miri works best as a verbal and visual smutfest. Rogen's foul-mouthed, fast-talking Zack is hardly a dramatic stretch for the actor, but he provides the heartbeat of the film by reeling off plenty of hilariously crude observational humour.

It's rewarding to watch the cast and crew of the amateur adult flick being assembled and bonding as a team, and we hope they achieve their goals. Smith milks the filming of the porno for every drop he can, although it never quite hits the same heights that Boogie Nights managed. Nonetheless, Zack's 'Star Whores' endeavour is particularly imaginative and the pay-off moment for a constipated adult actress indulging in the dark arts delivers the loudest laugh of the movie.

However, like a porn flick that has artistic pretensions, Smith's film unconvincingly attempts to morph into a heartwarming romcom in its latter stages. This transition is particularly uneasy, as it feels like some switch has been flicked to activate the mutual feelings of love in the two titular characters. Prior to this amorous realisation, there wasn't even the tiniest hint of romantic chemistry between the pair - a fault of the script, not the impressively natural Rogen and Banks.

For while Smith's script doesn't match up to the emotional credence generated in Judd Apatow movies like Knocked Up, his direction is consistently impressive. Wisely, the camerawork is unobtrusive and allows the ensemble cast to excel in their roles. Alongside the two stars, Craig Robinson from the Stateside version of The Office is amusing as Zack's racially aggravated coffee shop co-worker, while a cameo by Justin Long as a gay pornstar is highly entertaining.

The premise is undoubtedly interesting and one can't help but hope that folks on British shores will take similar measures once the recession kicks in. Make rumpy-pumpy, not longer dole queues. In many ways, Zack And Miri is pleasurable, guilt-free sex. Yet sometimes one can't help but crave the more soul-fulfilling act of making love. For it's on the emotional stakes that this movie can't quite get wood.


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