Zack and Miri Make a Porno

The problem with this movie is Kevin Smith.

The problem with Kevin Smith's movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno is that it only aspires to be a Kevin Smith movie. It's funny and sweet-natured. But this is a comedy about a group of regular friends who start making porn. There's so much promise there, and Smith's creative stagnation (no new card tricks since his debut Clerks) holds it back. At least with Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks in the leads, Smith is working with real actors. They're platonic roommates Zack and Miri who, upon having their power and water cut off, think they can make dough by producing and starring in their own XXX series Star Whores. Of course, amateur porn is now plentiful and free, but Smith's premise still holds a lot of possibility. So why completely step over making it a grand social comedy about what happens to friends who start having sex with each other for public consumption? Instead of pondering whether average-looking people screwing can be hot, or mounting any defense or indictment of pornography, smut is just background for a routine story of a male nerd's romantic fulfillment. Zack and pals could just as well be making a regular indie, and Smith's movie would stay the same. It doesn't hit the emotion of communities formed through grade-Z film art in Cecil B. Demented, Ed Wood, Bowfinger and Be Kind Rewind. Despite having the most brisk pace of a Smith film since Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and the amiable charm of most scenes, it's about as risk-free a take on this subject as possible.

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