Zack and Miri Make a Porno

May 1, 2010 - Kevin Smith wrote and directed this 2008 film that tries to tell a love story wrapped in pornography. Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks have the title roles. Former porn star Traci Lords also stars.

Zack (Rogen) and Miri (Banks) are friends who share an apartment in the Pittsburgh area. Zack works at a coffee shop at a nearby mall. We presume that Miri also has a job although we never see or hear what it is. In any case, it can't pay much because Zack and Miri are way behind on their bills.

With their utilities cut off and facing possible eviction, Zack comes up with the idea of making cash by making a porn movie. He convinces his co-worker to bankroll the effort and hires a cast of strippers and free spirits. Of course, Zack and Miri will also have roles.

The trouble starts when Miri gets the script that Zack wrote. She rightly points out that Miri's character only has one sex partner (Zack), while his character gets around. The emotional fallout intensifies after Zack and Miri play out their scene together and realize that their claims of "it's just sex" just aren't true.

Overall review: ** The film originally received a rating of NC-17, but that was changed to R on appeal. Even so, the profanity is rampant and the scenes related to the making of the porno are, well, rather pornographic. I suppose that's to be expected, though I feel that the profanity went a little over the top.

My main issue with the movie is that it went from being a porno to being a love story, and I don't think that works. The first half of the film, which centers on the porno, is actually kind of funny. I would have liked to see that storyline play out. Instead, the second half of the film is spent on Zack and Miri as they slowly admit they're in love. I guess this is why real porn movies aren't big into plots. They just ruin everything.