Zack And Miri Make A Porno (2008)

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> Best Films of 2008
Overall Rating 66%
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Ranked #1,054
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Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought. --IMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 8, 2008
The title of a film needs to somehow relate to the film itself. In fact, the title of the film does not need to mislead the audience into thinking something that doesn't, in fact, happen. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" - guess what, Mr. Smith went to Washington. "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" - guess what, Harold & Kumar went to White Castle. No confusion there. So, when all the fuss was made about "Zack & Miri Make A Porno", I just assumed they would be making a porno in the film. They definitely shoot scenes for a porno. They definitely talk about making a porno. They hire actors for a porno and shoot those actors having sex for the porno. But the film ends and guess what - they didn't make a porno. Kevin Smith is one of those directors you either love or you hate. I have disliked most of his films, with "Dogma" serving as the screaming exception. I don't like a director who has to rely on fecal matter and vulgarity for all of his humor and that seems to be what Kevin Smith relies upon solely. He doesn't know how to make something naturally funny and he doesn't have the directorial savvy to let his actors roll with the material. "Zack & Miri Make A Porno" was bad. It wasn't just bad - it was ridiculous, and utterly, utterly forgettable.

The premise here is simple - Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) live together and are broke, broke, broke. First their water gets shut off, then their electricity. They decide that they're going to make a porno, sell it and make lots and lots of cash. They enlist their friend Delaney (Craig Robinson) to help and then audition a group of people for the various roles. Their actors include Jason Mewes as a man who can generate an erection immediately, Traci Lords as a woman who can fart and blow bubbles out of her vagina and Katie Morgan as Stacey, who is the only girl on the planet who seems to want to do anal. The group assemble and embark on "Star Whores", only to have their pornographic dreams shut down by a wrecking ball. After some inspirational thinking, they change their idea and start shooting in the local coffee shop, where Zack works, shooting on the company camcorder and using a hockey stick for a boom mic. Of course, Zack and Miri have to have sex and soon start to realize they have feelings for one another than transcend their usual friendship. Things happen, Zack leaves, Zack comes back, Zack and Miri get together.

What a horrible fucking disappointment. "Zack and Miri Make A Porno" pissed me off because it seems like it was ramshackled together with popsicle sticks and Elmer's Glue. Kevin Smith does not need to keep making movies if this is all he has up his sleeve. I can't think of a single thing he did right here. The closest scene to 'perfection' was when Zack and Miri have sex for the first time, though I don't know if I agree with the choice of a Live song to be playing in the background. And then - in the middle of his best sequence - he cuts over to the rest of the actors just standing there and watching, engaged in some benign conversation that has no relevance whatsoever. The man doesn't know a good thing when it's staring him in the face. The whole film takes these derails to allow supporting characters a chance to speak for a few seconds, as when a man stumbles into the coffee shop during filming and asks for a coffee. Instead of sending him away, they stop what they are doing, make him a coffee and give him a solid two minutes to talk about random bullshit that does nothing for the advancement of this picture. What was the purpose of that?

This film felt like Kevin Smith trying to emulate Judd Apatow. Guess what - Kevin Smith is not Judd Apatow. I don't care how hard he tries, his dialog just doesn't work as well. And I know what you're thinking - "Clerks", dude, "Clerks". Sure, that film had its moments and it was a seminal piece of 1990's cinema, but it was basically just Smith and his friends hanging out and having fun. He has gotten far too pretentious to do that anymore, evident by the atrocious "Clerks II". Even Seth Rogen isn't very funny here, doing the same thing he always does and not changing it up at all. The highlight of the film was the always entertaining Craig Robinson. He has been a favorite of mine since I first saw him in "The Office" and he's great here as the producer with the nagging wife and the affinity for titties. And Traci Lords was enjoyable in her role also, a nice comeback for her. But any appreciation for this film I might have had was eradicated when we learn that one of the female characters is constipated. As another character is having anal sex with her and another character lies on the ground beneath filming - the unthinkable happens. The man removes his penis from her ass and a gallon of fecal matters splatters onto the guy on the floor. Can anyone really justify this as entertainment? Why on Earth would someone put that in a feature film?

Now on to my being offended. Justin Long and Brandon Routh play two homosexual characters in the film. No biggie, right? Well, listen to Justin Long throw on his horrible fake-gay accent. He is a walking stereotype. Brandon Routh basically does the same thing, but at least he is gay and makes it look more natural. All these characters do is reference how much they love having butt sex with one another. There is no depth to either of them and they're not funny in the slightest. Is this what passes for humor in Kevin Smith's world? If so, he needs a new career path. The more I think about this film, the more I absolutely hate it. "Zack & Miri Make A Porno" might be the worst film of the year. It was definitely the most offensive to me and I don't get offended easily at the movies. There was no reason for this film to be made. And, at the end of the day, you want a film to live up to its title. Zack and Miri never make a porno. They make a disaster.

Ginose #1: Ginose - added November 8, 2008 at 11:54pm
Perhaps its his FAR more subtle tack-on with dialouge that I like about Kevin Smith, but I found this movie funny. Not DAMNED funny, nor hillairous, but funny enough to make me sit through the cookie-cutter plot and wait for the predictably shallow ending. Now, maybe it's the fact that I'm not gay that made me laugh so hard at Long's dialouge with Rogen, or maybe it was just the build through their whole conversation. Regardless, alot of the comedy is unpredicted and unintllegent, now, beleive it or not, some people actually DO laugh at that. For instance, the second the words "Nigga Rich Productions" popped up on the editing bay screen I laughed, when the "dutch-rudder" is explained by Mewes I laughed, conversations mentioning black friday, marriage, porno titles, and white supremacy made me laugh... I think I laughed a majority of the film.
I'm not sure, Billy Ray, perhaps you really aren't a fan of Smith's writing, perhaps you went in with higher expectations, or perhaps you were so ripped by Long and Routh towards the begining that you ignored alot of the positive qualities the film offered. Regardless, I'll just say that most Smith fans will appreciate the movie, hell, most will probablly like it more than me, but I found it shallow, poorly assembled and, for lack of a better word, messy, it still had me laughing and that's all I wanted to do. 6.6/10

Oh, and yes, Craig Robinson is, qithout a doubt, the funniest performance in the movie. Hillarious from start to finish.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added November 9, 2008 at 12:25am
0/10? You're a fucking moron.
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added November 9, 2008 at 12:31am
This movie was beyond awful. I don't think I laughed once in the theater, and I felt really dirty after. The dialogue was stupid, as were the characters. I'd have to give this a 9/10 because I pretty much laughed the whole time, and the characters were actually interesting.
Vash #4: Vash - added November 9, 2008 at 1:18pm
i actually kind of agree, oddly enough, with this review. it wasn't as bad as he's making it out to be, but it wasn't amazing. there are a few choice lines - one of which comes in that cut to the characters talking while zack and miri have sex. "anyone catch the last episode of lost?" it's not relevant because that's the joke. then again bluemeanie wouldn't know comedy if it shat on his chest. but that isn't the point - the point is, seth rogen sucks. he sucks so bad. not only is he a carbon copy of his one dimensional slacker character in literally EVERY movie that he's in, but he is one of the least funny people working today. how can apatow get all these talented guys - paul rudd, james franco, jason segel, bill hader - and give every single job to seth rogen and jonah hill, who are just variations on the same annoying archetype? i love the double standard of kevin smith having his friends come hang out on his movies, but when apatow does it, it's somehow artistic. fuck that. the reason the movie fails IS because smith is riffing on the apatow formula, but not because he fails to "understand" it - it's because the formula sucks. you can tell he's letting rogen adlib in a few scenes, and they're terrible. everyone gets on kevin smith's case because his dialogue is unnatural, but that's the point. there's character and fluidity to it. apatow's "everyman" dialogue is, first of all, NOT how people actually talk, and secondly, NOT FUNNY. if smith had stuck to his guns, the movie would work, as proven by lines like... well, everything craig robinson says. let's hope this kickstarts the apatow/rogen backlash and we can stop seeing shitty fucking movies from this played out crew. PS: bluemeanie is a fat twink.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added November 10, 2008 at 9:51am
Seems to be pretty divided. Believe me -- I didn't want to hate this film as much as I did. In hindsight, I probably should have given it 1/10 based solely on Craig Robinson's performance. Alas, there was so much negative emotion. I will change my score to 2/10 for Craig Robinson, but his performance aside, this is the worst film of the year.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added November 10, 2008 at 1:01pm
Wouldn't know comedy if it shat on my chest. If a fucking "Lost" joke in the middle of the best scene of the film is what you consider top-shelf comedy, you can keep it. P.S. Vash has AIDS.
Nirrad #7: Nirrad - added November 10, 2008 at 10:22pm
P.P.S. Tristan is having my baby.
Vash #8: Vash - added November 21, 2008 at 2:59am
i don't think a single person can argue that robinson stole the show in this movie. far and away its saving grace. even his "i make coffees for people" line made me laugh. but yeah, the rest... forgettable. worst film of the year is a bit strong but it's definitely not something i'd ever feel inclined to watch again. seth rogen sucks. also, i like that bluemeanie's retort came about four hours later :) glad to see i got a fun retort instead of a serious one for once. let the healing begin, handsome.
Chad #9: Chad - added July 11, 2009 at 7:59pm
0/10? You're a fucking moron.
2/10? Still.
Tristan #10: Tristan - added July 11, 2009 at 8:53pm
I guess my previous comment didn't really sum up how I felt about this movie, aside from calling Meanie a moron for giving it a 0. I'd have to say this is one of Smith's funniest movies. I've been a die hard Kevin Smith fan since I saw Clerks for the first time, and I've been a Seth Rogen fan since I saw him all those years ago in Freaks and Geeks. Two of my favourite people coming together and making a movie. What more could I ask for?

10/10. Easily.
Lucid Dreams #11: Lucid Dreams - added July 14, 2010 at 2:22pm
You argue that they didn't make a porno, but they filmed each other fucking, that sounds like porn to me. I thought this movie had many laughs and message behind it that if you go anal on a woman that is constipated you won't like the outcome. 9/10
Crispy #12: Crispy - added July 4, 2013 at 3:18am
In other news, I loved it.
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