Kevin Smith’s “Zack and Miri” Lacks The Vitality Of His View Askew Work

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks
Released: 2008 / Genre: Comedy / Country: USA / IMDB
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We all know Kevin Smith likes to look himself up on the internet. His geek-critics then come in for some stick in his movies. If he ever reads this – he probably won’t but if he ever does – I’d like to say: “Kevin, I’m a fan of your work. The View Askew universe is genius and Mallrats is one of my favourite films but Zack and Miri is a turd of epic proportion. It’s predictable, poorly plotted and badly scripted while featuring several painfully life-changing shots of Jason Mewes without any clothes on.

Am I over-exaggerating? Well, it’s made for a very specific audience, and it’s certainly not in the same mould as the director’s more restrained effort Jersey Girl. Here Zack and Miri are two friends who live together in an apartment that has just had its power and water cut off because they failed to pay the bills. Meeting a couple of gay porn actors (as you do) at a just-so-convenient high school shindig (one of which is Justin Long in a brilliant cameo), the two happen upon the idea of shagging each other on camera to make money.

Ultimately, the film is about two close friends the audience know are made for each other but who have failed to realise it themselves. It’s obvious from the get-go so the story relies on its characters and the comedy to keep you from twenty winks. And at times the film is funny – in a crude, nonsensical way. But you can’t really like these characters too much because they are so dumb. They are broke yet spend money on an overtly elaborate adult film with sets, costumes, and lighting. With perennial masturbater Zack (Seth Rogan), whose knowledge of current sex industry trends includes the purchase of the ‘Fleshlight’ for added self-gratification, you’d think they’d realise that expensive set-dressed cinematic sex is soooo-1970s. For two completely broke individuals wanting to make porn in the 21st century things couldn’t be easier or cheaper. In fact, they wouldn’t even need a camera. They could simply record a few minutes of reality-porn on a camera-phone! They even miss a trick with Miri’s granny-pants video receiving 200,000 hits less than an hour after going online. Monetise the sucker!

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is crude, predictable, and made for a very distinct audience. Unlike Smith’s View Askew universe, these characters don’t have the vitality of his earlier work, and the film suffers for it.

Review by Daniel StephensSee all reviews

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    Yeah, I had trouble deciding whether or not I could face putting this on the counter at the video store…. I decided against it to save myself the embarrassment.

    I might take a look when I have a night with the boys or something, but I doubt I’ll remember by then….

  2. Avatar
    Novroz Reply

    This is the kind of movie that makes me prejudiced just by reading the title.

  3. Avatar
    Fitz Reply

    I laughed, but it wasn’t up to par with several of his other works.

  4. Avatar
    CMrok93 Reply

    I haven’t seen this in a long time, but I really did like it when I did. This may not be Smith’s best work, but it really did have me laughing at times, where I thought I would have just been grossed out.

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