Monday, December 15, 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

 Zack and Miri Title2

  • Released Internationally on 31/10/08
  • Released in Malta by KRS on 10/12/08

Preview (18/11/08)

In a nutshell

Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, it’s showing at your nearest cinema. No, it’s not an adult film. Well, yes, it is for adults, but it’s a comedy.

Who’s in it?

Kevin Smith, the man behind the Clerks phenomenon and a handful of equally hilarious and respected comedies, wrote, directed and edited this subtlely titled comedy. Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Pineapple Express) and Elizabeth Banks (the Spider-man franchise, Laura Bush in the upcoming W.) star as the title characters – two long-time friends who’s relationship never went that extra mile, and who share a flat but are having trouble finding rent money. When they reach rock bottom and their landlord turns off their water and electricity, they come up with a plan that’s so crazy it just might work. Thus begins the pre-production on the low-budget adult space-flick, Star Whores. The new Superman, Brandon Routh, and Justin Long co-star as friends who already seem to be in the business. Craig Robinson (The Office, Pineapple Express) is their colleague who ends up as the film’s producer, a role he relishes, and frequent Kevin Smith collaborators Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson (both from Clerks) help out on and off screen. Real-life porn star Traci Lords adds some sleaze to the cast as an actress loosely based on herself.

Why we’re hyped

Over the past two decades Kevin Smith has given us six unique and enjoyable comedies set within his ‘View Askew’ universe – using repeat characters and a roughly continuous story. He also penned and directed the underrated fatherhood drama Jersey Girl, and this time around seems to have managed to mix the uninhibited humour of the former with the sentimental touch of the latter. He’s also taken his love of Star Wars to a whole new level. This is one filmmaker who loves what he does, and so far it’s showed very clearly in everything he’s done.

 

Review (15/12/08)

Necessity is the mother of invention

When we meet the instantly likeable title duo, things aren’t looking rosy, and the dire straits described above lead them to seriously consider the unthinkable. This is where Kevin Smith registers his first feat – he actually makes it seem believable. After a few establishing scenes, a minor incident with a mobile phone camera, and a healthy dose of desperation, the two characters progress from platonic flatmates to budding porn stars in what seem like natural steps. It helps that they’ve got no family to be embarrassed in front of, but otherwise the plot manages to unfurl much less ludicrously than I expected.

Sleaze and filth

However, once the camcorder starts rolling, things get nasty, and we’re soon reminded that this isn’t your average romantic comedy, and the film’s second act doesn’t hide much when it comes to chronicling the making of an amateur porno. Craig Robinson is especially hilarious as the casting director and producer, and Jason Mewes seems to have no inhibitions at all when it comes to doing what Kevin Smith’s films require. So despite being an ultimately sentimental story about two very good friends, it’s not something you’d show at a baptism party.

Bankable

When the film reaches its crux, and the two main characters have to decide whether making an adult flick together is going to ruin their seemingly perfect friendship, the films owes a lot to Elizabeth Banks, whose warm acting and wonderful smile lift her character way above the rest, and give the plot something to aim for. Seth Rogen plays his usual self, which works fine considering that the role was written with him in mind.

Porn Stars have feelings too

The third act slows down a little, and at a point leaves us wondering what on earth happened to the coveted epic they’re making, but it soon picks up and manages to wrap things up nicely, convincingly, and without too much sugar coating. Kevin Smith has written and delivered yet another smart comedy, which can stand proudly alongside his previous gems.

Mark7 

 

Trailer:

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