Zack and Miri Make a Porno (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set) Reviews
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Zack and Miri Make a Porno (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set)

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Katie Morgan Gets Naked and Has Sex in Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Jul 31, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting plot.  Good cast.  Decent humor.

Cons:Romance aspect is weaker. Some of what happens is predictable.

The Bottom Line: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is entertaining, though it isn't for everyone.

I have seen a few Kevin Smith's movies, though I haven't seen all of them.  I will probably try to see more of them at some point.  I remember hearing about Zack and Miri Make a Porno when it came out.  I didn't see the movie at that point even though I thought the plot had the potential to be interesting.  I just saw the movie for the first time.

Platonic friends Zack and Miri have known each other since grade school.  They are roommates who are having financial problems even though they both have jobs.  Miri talks Zack into going to their high school reunion where she comes on to Bobby Long, the guy she had a crush on in high school.  She is mortified to learn that Bobby is gay and he brought his lover, Brandon St. Randy, a gay porn actor, to the reunion.  Things get even worse that night when they get home and the power is shut off because they haven't paid the bill in months.  

While they are trying to figure out what they are going on to do, Zack gets the idea that they should make a porn movie.  Miri doesn't like the idea at first, but Zack convinces her.  He then manages to talk Delaney, the guy he works with at the coffee shop, into putting up the money.  Zack and Miri start developing a story and finding people to be in the movie.  They do have to deal with new set backs as well as the realization that having sex - even though it is just for the movie - does change things.

While I do think that several things that happen in Zack and Miri Make a Porno are predictable, the idea of friends deciding to make a porno to pay bills does seem a little more original.  I do think the plot is interesting and it does make for an entertaining movie.  It comes out fairy early in the movie that Zack and Miri are having money problems and are months behind on utilities.  It isn't surprising when the water and electric get turned off.  They are in a very bad situation, so it does make sense that they would consider doing something more extreme to make money, like make a porno.  

There is a good amount of humor in Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  Some of the laughs come from how Zack and Miri are struggling - like them driving a junky car that barely runs.  Miri does make a bit of a fool of herself at the reunion when she sees Bobby and that is funny.  More of the humor is tied to what happens once they decide to make a porno.  A lot of bizarre things happen at that point, but they are funny.  Much of the humor is crude or sexual in some way, which may turn off some viewers.  Some of the funny things are more shocking in nature.  One really, really gross thing happens at one point.  It was so gross and shocking, that it did take me a minute to fully process and realize what I'd just seen.  People that don't care for crude or downright gross humor should probably stay away from this one.  I do think that a few things that happen are really funny.  There are a few things that I think were supposed to add humor that really didn't.  The humor is a little uneven, but I think the movie works well as a comedy.

Sex is talked about a lot throughout Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which makes sense considering what the movie is about.  Even before Zack comes up with the idea, sex is brought up, mostly to add humor.  Once the plan is put in motion, sex is brought up more often in relation to the porno they are trying to make.  There are some sex scenes in the movie, one of which involves nudity.  The sex scenes shown are actually scenes being filmed for the porno.  The longer one is a bit more explicit, but there is also humor added to it as well.  Zack and Miri have a rather awkward sex scene that starts off funny before getting a bit sweeter.  It does seem a little out of place that they aren't naked even though they are making a porno.  Most of the nudity comes from Stacy and Lester, two people hired to be in the movie.  The sex scenes, especially the ones between Stacy and Lester, could be too graphic for some people, but they aren't that explicit.  The movie is rated R and definitely isn't one for children to see.  The movie originally received an NC-17 rating, even after some cuts were made.  After so long, the decision was made to appeal.  The rating was then changed to R without any more cuts being made.  The R rating fits and I don't think NC-17 was really needed for what is in the movie.

After setting it up that Zack and Miri have been friends since first grade, an attempt to add a romance or love story between them is added into Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  Once they decide to do the movie, they talk about things and agree that them having sex for the movie won't change anything between them.  Once the process of making the movie starts, Zack is eager to have sex with Stacy while keeping Miri from having sex with Lester.  That does add some conflict, and things just get worse when they do have sex.  The love story aspect of the movie is more predictable and doesn't work as well.  It does seem like it changes the pacing and feel of the movie.  

Zack sort of seems to be a slacker when the movie begins.  He spends money on stupid stuff instead of paying bills or the rent.  He does work, but he doesn't particularly like his job.  He is the one who originally comes up with the idea to make a porno and he becomes really enthused about the project.  Some of it is because he wants to have sex with Stacy, but he also seems to just like the process of making a movie.  Seth Rogen is fine in the part.  Miri seems slightly more responsible than Zack, though her life is also a mess.  She has to be convinced to make the porno, though she also seems to like some aspects of it.  Elizabeth Banks does fine with the part.

Delaney works with Zack and ends up financing the porno.  He is around when the filming is done, but he doesn't actually take part in the movie.  Craig Robinson does fine with the part.  Tisha Campbell is in one scene as Delaney's out spoken wife.  Gerry Bednob is in a few scenes as Mr. Surya, Zack and Delaney's boss.  Some of the people at the reunion are briefly shown, like Zack II, Betsy, Bobby Long and Brandon.  Bobby and Brandon receive the most attention, so Brandon Routh and Justin Long have the most to do in that sequence.  Those characters are entertaining.

Stacy is a woman that Zack and Miri find working as a waitress at a strip club.  It seems like she may be the main female star of the porno.  She seems nice enough, though she isn't really developed.  Katie Morgan, a real porn actress, plays the part.  She does well with the part.  Her acting isn't award worthy, but it isn't horrible either.  Bubbles is another woman hired to be in the porno.  She has a rather unique talent that gets her hired.  Traci Lords is fine in the part.  Lester is the main male actor for the porno.  He is enjoying having sex for the movie.  I didn't recognize Jason Mewes in the part since he looks so different with short hair.  Jeff Anderson is in several scenes as Deacon, the camera man for the movie.  He is usually just there without having many lines.  Barry is the other male actor hired for the porno.  He seems a bit more innocent than the others, but that doesn't last.  Ricky Mabe is good in the part.

Main Cast

Jeff Anderson - Deacon
Elizabeth Banks - Miri
Gerry Bednob - Mr. Surya
Kenny Hotz - Zack II
Justin Long - Brandon St. Randy
Traci Lords - Bubbles
Ricky Mabe - Barry
Jason Mewes - Lester
Katie Morgan - Stacy
Craig Robinson - Delaney
Seth Rogen - Zack
Brandon Routh - Bobby Long

Kevin Smith - Director

DVD Information

I watched the two disc edition of Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  I think there have been other DVD releases for the movie, but I don't know what sort of extras are included.  The two disc version has a lot of extras.  There are at least an hour of deleted scenes.  Some of those scenes are just slightly different versions of scenes in the movie.  A few of the deleted scenes, like when Zack is fighting with the car door, are pretty funny.  The deleted scenes are on the first disc.  All the other extras are on the second disc.

Popcorn Porn: The Making of Zack and Miri runs over an hour long and shows a lot of the making of the movie.  Kevin Smith and some of the other crew as well as a few cast members are shown talking about the movie while some of the filming is shown.  Smith does talk about some of the casting process.  The issue with the rating and Smith's decision to go through the appeal process is discussed as well.  Smith does point out some discrepancies with the ratings.  The showing of the movie at the Toronto Film Festival as well as the premier are also covered.  The documentary is interesting and worth watching.  

Money Shots Webisodes are short things that were filmed and posted online during the filming of the movie.  They are entertaining and mostly humorous.  Comic-Con 2008 features footage from the convention when Smith and the cast appeared.  I'm still not sure why the movie was included there, though there is a mention of Spider-Man at one point and in one of the deleted scenes, Zack II says something that references the Wonder Twins.  Outtakes, Ad Libs and Bloopers are entertaining, though not as funny as I had expected.  Seth Vs. Justin: Battle for Supremacy shows the two actors trying to out do each other.  The extras are entertaining and worth watching.  The parts focused on the making of the movie are more in depth than similar extras with a lot of other movies.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno has a subject that will turn off some viewers, but it is a funny, entertaining movie overall.  The humor will be too raunchy and crude for some viewers.  The movie itself isn't a porno.  It is just about people who decide to make one in desperate circumstances.

This review is part of elvisdo's 2010 Canadiana Write Off.  Seth Rogan is from Vancouver.  Gary Bednob was born in Trinidad, but raised in Canada.  He graduated from the University of Toronto.  Kenny Hotz is from Toronto.  Ricky Mabe is from Pointe Claire in Quebec.  Tyler Labine, who has a small part as a drunk customer, is from Brampton in Ontario.  The movie was first shown at the Toronto Film Festival.  It is also part of his 2010 Funny Pages Write Off because of the mentions of Spider-Man and the Wonder Twins.

Seth Rogen Movie Reviews
The 40 Year Old Virgin ~ Horton Hears a Who ~ Knocked Up ~ Kung Fu Panda ~ Monsters vs. Aliens ~ The Spiderwick Chronicles ~ You, Me and Dupree ~

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