Filthy, but funny

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Starring Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks and Jason Mewes. Directed by Kevin Smith. Rated R.
Rated 3.0

How many countless twentysomethings have sold their dignity and bared it all on the Internet to make a few bucks? This is the 21st century, and people have clearly figured out that sex sells.

This blasé attitude about sex and videotapes is sort of the point of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The title characters, played by Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, are best friends who decide to have sex on camera to help pay their bills. But are they just friends? And is sex something they can turn into an acting job?

Zack and Miri has all the markings of a Kevin Smith film, from witty (but filthy) banter, to roles by regulars Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson, to Star Wars references (the movie they make is called Star Whores). And it’s so filthy, in fact, that Smith narrowly avoided getting an NC-17 rating. At times the jokes go too far, though, aiming purely at shock value.

Rogen plays the perfect dorky nice guy, utterly unsexy but funny and cute enough to grow on you. It’s Zack’s reaction to the whole porn-making business that gives meaning—as much as there might be here—to the film. Banks’ Miri is also a loveable loser, a beauty with nicknames like “Stinky” and “Granny Panties.”

Craig Robinson (The Office), playing Zack’s buddy Delaney, is probably the funniest in the film. But Mewes is the most surprising, leaving the long hair and “snootchie bootchies” at home and opting instead to play the star of Zack and Miri’s film.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is vulgar, extremely explicit and probably should have gotten that NC-17. But those who enjoy Smith’s previous films (and/or porn) will likely laugh their asses off.