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Cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Mewes, Justin Long, Brandon Routh, jeff Anderson

Director: Kevin Smith

Screenplay: Kevin Smith

Cinematography: David Klein

Original Score: James L. Venable

Running Time: 101 Mins.

Kevin Smith, having made a name for himself with a certain ‘brand’ of film has seen his thunder very much stolen lately by Judd Apatow with his Knocked Up/40 Year Old Virgins. From these two titles alone you can probably figure out for yourself that the type of film I talk of is that of the crude/rom-com/high concept film that has seen audiences flock to the cinema in their droves. Thing is Smith. who has made the best examples of this film type long before Apatow’s brood even considered coming into film, has never shared the box office success of Apatow. In Clerks we got the exceptionally witty script, followed by Mallrats crudeness and romance then in Chasing Amy the perfect blend of these elements but never the audience to back the critical praise up.

On face value then it’s hard to see where Apatow won and Smith failed (to an extent) to bring home the bacon, one answer could be the choice of actor, Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell etc. so I’m guessing with this in mind Smith has recruited Frat Packs current Golden Boy, Seth Rogen. With the required amount of loveableness balanced to the laddish crudeness that Rogen brings no one would better fit into the View Askew universe than ol’ fozzy bear voice himself. And I’m pretty sure thats what Smith probably thought….and how right he was to think that!

Zack & Miri Make A Porno, while not as brilliant as Clerks 2 (which hit exactly the right notes of hilarity and touching moments), is one of Smith’s finest films (not faint praise at all) and very much on a par with Chasing Amy despite very near misses with the amount of schamltz on show at times. The titular couple have some real chemistry and their transition from bff’s to the inevitable romance is never less than believeable and most fundamentally, touching! As a longtime fan of Rogen’s everyman schtick I wasn’t disappointed at yet another ‘likeable loser/nerd’, I cant help feeling that so many of the roles he chooses I empathise with and this one is no exception, for a start he works in a coffee shop and treats his customers with the requisite amount of contempt taking out his short temper on them when the situation arises…. But the same rule applies if you haven’t enjoyed Rogen before, you’re unlikely to change your mind this time. 

Following W. Elizabeth Banks shows she is certainly a rising star and one to watch in the critical and commercial circles, with Zack and Miri falling into both of those categories, shes charming, funny, smart, sexy and most of all, like Rogen, believable, it has to be said amongst all the comedic sex, the sex scene between Rogen and Banks is oddly touching and has a fantastic music cue. Which brings me from the ‘Zack & Miri’ bit and onto the ‘Make A Porno’ part, and let’s face it thats what will draw many a teenage boy in (and young man…and old, and women, okay lets face it sex DOES sell regardless of sex or age!).

So, to the porno film crew, and for this Smith has rounded up a crew of familiar faces (well dependent on your tastes), Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob), Jeff Anderson (of Clerks/2), a porn star, and, key to the film, Craig Robinson who is down right hilarious everytime he’s onscreen (last seen in the lacklustre Pineapple Express). Between them they deliver the humour Smith has become famous for, porn star that can blow bubbles from…., loose bowels at an innappropriate moment, many a sex scene played for full comic effect, he really pushes the envelope of crudity but is always funny enough timing each gag just right so as to never over step the mark, thats not to say this isn’t a film for everyone, it IS very crude and does have sex in abundance, but if you can overlook any prudishness you may have you will see the humour derived from the situations.  

VERDICT

It doesn’t better the masterpiece of comedy that is Clerks 2 however Kevin Smith’s never faltering mark of quality continues (yes that DOES include Jersey Girl), add two of the most likeable actors in film today into the mix and you have the ideal film to put a smile on your face. If watching two people making a porno to make ends meet while falling in love is your thing…of course!

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