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Zack and Miri Make a Porno


Stars: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Katie Morgan, Ricky Mabe, Kevin Smith

Director: Kevin Smith

Can a picture so foul-tongued that it makes Ross and Brand look like wusses also be sweet and funny? Well, maybe not, but Zack and Miri does come pretty close. As visually explicit as you'd expect from the title, and unrepentantly crude,
it is at heart still a dopey romance designed to make us go 'aaah' at the end. And, in chunky, bespectacled Seth Rogen, and especially gorgeous Elizabeth Banks, in her most striking screen work to date, it has the right people to pull the appropriate strings.

As the film opens, the title duo have lived together platonically for several years but, despite dual incomes of a sort, are up to their ears in debt. When the power and water are turned off in their flat, an emergency solution has to be found.

Zack works in a coffee bar alongside his black colleague Delaney (Robinson), who is racially sensitive to a fault. When a customer asks 'Can I get a cup of coffee - black?' Delaney replied 'Can't you see I'm talkin', white? Nonetheless, Delaney's flat-screen TV savings are set to bankroll Zack and Miri's idea to make a hard-core pornographic movie that they hope will score mega DVD sales.

'Who don't other people do it? asks Miri. 'Because,' replies Zack, 'other people have options and dignity.'

Like all the other 'actors' in their film, Zack and Miri have a sex scene together, but, when they get down to it, they find out what the audience has known all along. Zack even refuses to let Miri take her bra off on the grounds that 'my titties are bigger than yours'. (OK, he's right).

There's a lot of non PC stuff here (some of which we could do without), and constant extreme bad language, but quite a bit of it is funny, too, and you'll be hard put not to be won over by the chemistry of the leads and the endearing qualities of the central relationship.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Entertainment (New Line). Colour by Released On.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 10 Nov 2008