For those of you who are out of the loop, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a ?View Askew' movie by Kevin Smith " the man behind Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Dogma, and Clerks 2 to name a few.  Anyway, it seems that our boy Kevin has recently been inspired by some of Judd Apatow's work because Zack and Miri Make a Porno feels like it has ?Apatow' written all over it.

Seth Rogen (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) are roommates who have known each other since the first grade.  Zack works behind the counter at a local coffee shop, while Miri has a dead end job at the mall.  Since their jobs suck so hard and Zack likes to spend his money on things like fleshlights they eventually are unable to pay rent and get their heat/electricity/water shut off.  They need some quick money, and the light at the end of the tunnel emerges; why not make a porno? 

As some of you may have guessed, one of this movie's strongest selling points is Seth Rogen.  If you were at all a fan of him in Superbad, Knocked Up, or Pineapple Express, you'll probably like him here.  Now that I think about it, it might be safe to say that after just a few movies Seth Rogen is dangerously close to becoming permanently type-cast as the slob underachiever with no real sense of dignity or shame.  Fortunately for him, he pulls it off without even trying and it really works, especially in Zack and Miri.  

Now before telling you anything else about this movie, there's something that we have to get out of the way real quick and we're going to do it like a band-aid OK?  Ready? 1, 2, 3 " this movie is a romantic comedy.  That might sting a little hard with some people who a) were expecting a regular (read: not romantic) comedy from Kevin Smith, and b) are rightfully uneasy from Smith's previous attempt at a romantic comedy cough Jersey Girl cough.

If you can imagine for a moment that Kevin Smith and Judd Apatow had a passionate, sweaty, 1 night stand, this movie would be the love child.  It's got elements of both that stand out strongly; a vulgar comedy with sweet ?aww' undertones (Apatow) and tons of random gross moments with a touch of Star Wars humor (Smith).  I wonder how long Kevin Smith had been dreaming of a movie where he could finally share with the world his long pondered Star Wars porn names: Hung Solo and Lube Skyballer.    

The Bottom Line: For all you die hard View Askew universe fans, this movie doesn't feel the same was as your traditional Kevin Smith movie (I mean come on, 0 weed jokes? What kind of world are we living in?)  If you go out and see this movie, you'll understand what I mean when I say it feels like Smith decided to take a rather big step in a different direction to make this movie feel like a Judd Apatow piece.  On the plus side, I guess that means that all the Judd fans out there might really enjoy Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  This movie starts out as a really great comedy, and ends up crossing the finish line as a "still pretty funny" romantic comedy (Warning: the ending is really, really sappy.  Just letting you know).  

For the few dozen of you that wrote to me asking if this movie shows any of Elizabeth Banks because of its original NC-17 Rating, sorry to disappoint you.  Kevin Smith had a really tough time getting the R rating for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but no, you do not get to see Elizabeth Banks' goods…but hey, if it makes you feel any better you DO get to see real adult film star Katie Morgan, and even better, Jason Mewes (better known as ?Jay' from Jay & Silent Bob).  

Grade: Despite the surprise rom-com element and the weak "awww" ending, there were plenty of scenes that still made me laugh.  Seth Rogen is hilarious and surprisingly enough makes a really great team with Elizabeth Banks.  Everyone has pretty much come to expect a vulgar and funny performance from Rogen, but Banks does a great job not only keeping up with him but doing a pretty damn good job herself of acting like a raunchy guy.  B-

Next up: Role Models, Fanboys, Quantum of Solace

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