Z. The last letter of the alphabet. Which means that I am reaching the tail end of things, sort of. Well, let’s get started with these last couple of movies . Today’s movie is one that I received during a white elephant gift exchange several years ago. I admit that I never saw this movie in theaters but I figured that it would be pretty good as it was directed by Kevin Smith, and he can make some good comedies. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Zack And Miri Make A Porno.
The plot: Zack Brown and Miriam “Miri” Linky are roommates in Monroeville, PA but despite both of them working, Miri at the mall and Zack at a coffee shop, they have a stack of unpaid bills. While at the coffee shop Zack is talking with his coworker Delaney, who is only working there until his settlement from the post office come in, about Miri making him go to the reunion, which is on Thanksgiving, and Delaney comments about his relationship with Miri. When he asks why he doesn’t try dating her Zack tells him that he’s known her since the 1st grade and it would be weird to date someone you’ve known that long. Later that night, Miri shows up after her shift is over and is trying on outfits in the back of Zack’s store. As she is changing, two kids notice and start filming her, catching her in her granny panties, but Zack notices and interrupts them before chasing them out. As she asks Zack his opinions on her outfits, they argue about money and that night, the water gets shut off. The next day, they head to the reunion and Miri flirts with her high school crush, Bobby Long, while Zack goes around talking to some of the other guests. As he grabs a drink at the bar, he meets Brandon St. Randy, a gay porn star that also happens to be Bobby’s boyfriend. Zack goes over and introduces Bobby to Miri and when he sees her, he says he recognizes her from the “grannie panties” viral video, shocking Miri when she sees it. When they return home, Zack wants to see how many views the video has received when their electricity gets cut off. The two head to a bar and lament about their financial difficulties and try to figure out what to do for money when Zack suggests that they make a porno. Miri is reluctant at first but is eventually won over by Zack’s enthusiasm for doing and jokes with him that he is just doing this to have sex with her. Zack talks with Delaney and convinces him to help finance the movie and they start holding auditions for actors to be in it, while Zack talks with his friend Deacon from his hockey league to film it. When Zack says they need to do a spoof for their movie, he and Miri try to come up with a good name for the movie and decide to do a Star Wars parody called Star Whores. As they tell their cast the idea for the movie and go through the script, Miri notices that she is only having sex with Zack while he is having sex with the two other girls, Bubbles and Stacey, and she gets jealous and says that she will have sex with Lester, causing Zack to get jealous. They rent out a warehouse and get some costumes for their movie and start shooting some promo shots for the movie. When they return the next day to start shooting, they find the place being demolished and learn the building had been sold a month ago and the owner took their money and ran to Florida. As they all sit around the coffee shop and lament about their misfortune, Zack suddenly gets an idea. Grabbing the camera that his boss setup to watch him during his shift, Zack says they can shoot the movie at the coffee shop. The others agree to change the movie and show up after the shop closes and Miri finds herself looking at Zack in a new light. They start shooting their new movie and as they leave for the night, Miri and Zack discuss their upcoming scene for the next day and Miri says they need to promise that it won’t get weird between them afterwards. The next night, Zack and Miri shoot their scene but instead of the rough sex that some of the other actors had done, they end up having more romantic and tender sex. The next night, they start to talk about what happened when they discover the lights and power have been turned back on. Delaney and the rest of the cast show up and tell them they pooled their money to pay off some of their debt in order to get their utilities back on and Delaney, acting as producer, says they should have an early wrap party. As the party goes on, Stacey talks with Miri about Zack and says she is nervous about having sex with him in their scene and asks if it would be ok to have sex with him tonight. Miri, having started to have feelings for Zack, says it’s ok for her to ask but looks hurt when Zack goes into his room with Stacey. The next day, Zack had changed the scene so that Stacey has sex with Lester instead of Miri but is surprised to find that Miri has shown up to shoot the scene. Zack takes Miri into the back room and they start arguing about her being there, as Zack feels like she is doing this to get back at him for sleeping with Stacey. When he says that Stacey said she was ok with it, and Miri responds that she was only ok with her asking, Zack feels like that was some kind of test. Zack then admits that he is in love with Miri and that when they had sex they shared a romantic and emotional connection but Miri doesn’t share his feelings. Zack leaves the shop, telling Delaney he is quitting the film, and when Miri gets home, she finds that Zack has moved out of their apartment. Three months later, Zack has taken a job working outside the Pittsburgh Penguins stadium during their home games, allowing people to shoot at him with a paintball gun. Delaney shows up and as they catch up, he tells Zack that he got his settlement money from the post office and asks Zack to stop by his house so they can finish editing their movie. When he gets there, he finds Deacon in Delaney’s basement ready to edit and they show him the footage they shot of Lester and Stacey, Bubbles and Barry, and then Zack and Miri. When Zack asks about the footage of Lester and Miri, Deacon tells him they don’t have any because Miri said she couldn’t do the scene after Zack left. Zack leaves and heads back to Miri’s apartment to talk to her and while she is in the bathroom, he talks to her through the door and tells her he never slept with Stacey as they spent the whole night talking about Miri. When a naked Lester walks out of Miri’s room, Zack tells ehr he doesn’t care if she is sleeping with him as he will wait for her but Lester tells him that they aren’t sleeping with each other. He explains that after Zack moved out, he moved in to help her pay the rent and they switched rooms, as his old room still smelled like him. Miri comes out of the bathroom and says she missed him and as they hug and kiss, she tells him that she loves him and they head into her room. Some time later, it is shown that Zack and Miri got married and started a production company with Delaney called Zack And Miri Make Your Porno, where they make videos for couples who want to film their lovemaking.
Zack And Miri Make A Porno met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.” During one of his sex scenes, Jason Mewes (Lester) is wearing a tie and flips it around so it is hanging down his back. This was because he has a tattoo of friend and director Kevin Smith’s daughter’s name down his back and the tie was used to hide it. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $42.8 million off of a $24 million budget.
This is really dirty, but a pretty funny movie. The acting was good, with Seth Rogen (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) doing good jobs in their roles and showing some good chemistry with each other. I honestly felt like Craig Robinson (Delaney) kind of stole the show in his scenes as he was really funny. The story was pretty good and had a great plot set up in the fact that two friends are desperate to come up with the money to pay their bills and decide to make a porno in the hopes that it will make money. While it was mainly meant for some raunchy humor, it did have it’s tender side with how the dealt with Zack and Miri’s blossoming romance. The comedy was definitely of the adult variety as there was a lot of swear words and jokes about sex. It’s some raunchy fun and if you are not easily offended, then it is good for a laugh.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5