Zack and Miri Make a Porno

2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

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Critic Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.

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Movie Info

Lifelong friends and roommates Zack and Miri are facing hard times and a mountain of debt. When the electricity and plumbing get cut off, they seize upon the idea of making a homegrown porno movie for some quick cash, enlisting the help of their friends. The two vow that having sex will not ruin their friendship. But, as filming begins, what started out as a business proposition between friends turns into something much more.

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Critic Reviews for Zack and Miri Make a Porno

All Critics (194) | Top Critics (43)

All in all it's a modern-day, Kevin Smith fairytale: a big-screen bearing, perhaps, of his soul at its sincerest and wittiest, if not filthiest.

May 6, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Smith may have pioneered this kind of upfront sex chat, but the Apatow team refined it. 'Zack and Miri' feels uncomfortably like a gruesome game of filth-talk oneupmanship, and it's hard to care who comes out on top.

Nov 14, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

It's one thing for a movie to be dirty; it's another thing altogether for it to be plain sloppy.

Nov 3, 2008 | Full Review…

Kevin Smith turns out to be reverent after all: he wants to separate true love from mere copulating for money, but his story mixes romance and porn so inextricably that he seems confused, and the movie trips over its own conceits.

Nov 3, 2008 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

Everyone on screen seems to be having so much fun.

Oct 31, 2008

Seth Rogen is totally out of control. He's been marvelously funny in the past, and will be again, but get that party animal back in his cage.

Oct 31, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Zack and Miri Make a Porno

½

'Zack and Miri Makes a Porno' is hilarious, but it's strongest aspect is the fact that it created pathos and honest sentiment within a narrative that felt like it'd have to be completely devoid of it.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

Zack: That's what porn is: turning the normal into abnormal, by fucking it! "What would you do to get out of debt?" Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a surprisingly great movie. This is Kevin Smith doing what Kevin Smith does and it doesn't hurt when you team up with a guy like Seth Rogen who seems like the ideal cast member for a Kevin Smith film. It weaves the disgusting, raunchy Kevin Smith dialogue into a vulgar art form and still the movie comes across as sweet at the end. That's the genius of Kevin Smith when he goes for the love stuff. Zack and Miri have been platonic best friends their whole life and are currently living together. The bills and debts are piling up on them though and Zack's job at a coffee house isn't going to really solve it. When they run into an ex-peer at their 10th high school reunion and learn that he's gay and his boyfriend is a gay porn star; Zack has the epiphany that him and Miri should make a porno. After getting a producer, someone to shoot it, and some talent, they go to work, but the two are hiding deeper feelings for one another than they believe. I can see some of the content being a turnoff to some of the more conservative types out there, but that's to be expected with a director like Kevin Smith. If you like his brand of humor, Zack and Miri is a great little watch. It's not necessarily typical Kevin Smith though. It has a different feel to it then movies like Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Mallrats. Still even with the different feel, it's really funny and a whole lot of fun. I loved every minute of this movie. I may be a little high on praise though as I am a huge Kevin Smith fan and a huge Seth Rogen, and I'm also a huge fan of how beautiful Elizabeth Banks is. This is one that is really worth seeing even if you're sick of the raunch infested comedies that come out all the time now. This is one that is able to counter its vulgarity by evening it up with some sweet plot and character shifts. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

An interesting twist on the traditional rom-com. In the end, turns out to be a little more traditional than I would've liked.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

½

Writer/director Kevin Smith used to be a bit of an indie god. His debut "Clerks" was made on a shoestring budget and his films have normally had a real freshness and originality. His last three films; "Red State" "Cop Out" and this, are starting to show that Smith is running out of ideas though. Plutonic flatmates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are cash strapped with mounting financial debts. They struggle to even pay basic household bills. When their electricity and water are cut off, they decide to embark on a money spinning idea; to make a homemade adult film. Eventually, the long-time friends will need to have sex with each other but will they be able to keep their emotions in check? The film starts brightly and yes, you guessed it, Rogen gets to crack a few dick jokes. He's good at it though but when it's Kevin Smith at the helm, you expect a bit more. The writing is not as fresh as his earlier stuff and the film resorts to some cheap gags. It also strays off the path of indie comedy and treads onto the well worn one of romantic-comedy. This may be rom-com with an adult twist to it but, ultimately, it's still part of the genre that I don't really care for. It's the performances that keep it tolerable. The two leads in Rogen and Banks are very endearing and they are surrounded by a great supporting cast - Jason Mewes is, as always, hilarious and there is a brilliant cameo from Justin Long as a gravelly voiced, profane, gay porn star. I found it to be a film of moments though. It has several that are very funny - including a good "Star Wars" porn scenario with Hung Solo and R2 T-Bag - but it's just not consistent enough and then resorts to hammering the love angle. When this happens, you just know the film has muffdived nosedived and it's very unlikely that it will recover. As expected, it doesn't. If you're looking for a good comedy that delivers the same premise then I suggest "The Moguls". A little seen Jeff Bridges film released in 2005 that dealt with similar material in a more tasteful and frankly, funnier way. Not one of Smith's better efforts and has been the start of a three film decline for him. It does have some qualities but squanders them in favour of a formula.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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