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March 2, 2009 | by  | in Film |
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Zac and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Director Kevin Smith has recently become addicted to the chronicling of his life. He updates his blog (My Boring-Ass Life) every day, detailing almost every move, including awkwardly detailed rundowns of his masturbatory routine and technique. Every week he records a podcast with his producer Scott Mosier. These consist of them talking about whatever strikes their fancy: usually a combination of Nazis, faeces and porn. The podcasts always end with Smith forcing Mosier to enact a deeply homoerotic humiliation scenario. This seemingly has little more purpose than to provide empirical evidence that Smith is in fact a gay man trapped in a Catholic’s body. The most telling point being when he laughs: it sounds like hysterical crying. He could have just left it there. He could have kept his crazed brain weepings on the internet for fans to seek out and mold his coherent neuroses into delightfully witty (if deeply simplistic) films. But no. It is with Zack and Miri that those two heavily demarcated parts of his output blend into one disturbing whole.

Subtextually, Zack and Miri is about Smith’s twisted relationship with sex. It alternates between ecstatic veneration of the act as the ultimate expression of love and an act little more than hot, impersonal action to jerk off to. This schizophrenia spreads directly to its tone. It is a saccharine romantic comedy spliced with a childish sex comedy. The high concept for this film has to be “What would happen if you inter-cut Notting Hill and Porky’s at random?” When a character asserts their love for another with the statement “We went from fucking to making love…” you know that the writer has severe issues. The relationship with gay characters is equally as dysfunctional. Smith clearly obsesses over what he perceives as their sexual liberation but also can’t help but tokenise them as mildly perverse, mildly European, yuppie porn stars.

Seth Rogan (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) cope admirably under the weight of Smith’s crazed mind. Banks does especially well considering that there is nothing to Miri beyond her being female. Rogan’s strength has always been his innate likeablity. His characters always seem to get away with being a bit dicky just because you automatically want him to be your friend.

In Zack and Miri this is pushed to its absolute extreme. Zack is a largely irredeemable bastard. It’s hard to forgive a lead character who forces his best friend into porn because he spent the money for utilities bills on a hockey stick.

If there is a reason to recommend Zack and Miri it’s not for its content. At best a lame pretender to the Judd Apatow school of modern slacker comedy, the jokes bypass gross for outright unpleasant. The reason to see it is for the glorious unrestricted access into the severely messed and repressed director Kevin Smith. We’re not talking along the lines of his twee semi-autobiographical work in Chasing Amy and Clerks II, we’re talking David Lynch making Eraserhead levels of extreme self-disclosure. So, while Zack and Miri may not be entertaining, it is at least interesting.

Written, edited and directed by Kevin SmithProduced by Scott Mosier.

With Seth Rogan, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson and Traci Lords.

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

Comments (3)

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  1. Moomama says:

    Want to make one in my arse! hahahahaha

    No sorry I just got the giggles hahahahaha

    no sorry

  2. Jamie says:

    ROFLCOPTER

  3. ButterMuffin69 says:

    ROFLBROTHEL

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