For months, many have been speculating about the controversially titled Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Rumors about the film’s possible NC-17 rating only peaked moviegoers’ anticipation for its Halloween release date. However, while the movie’s plot is exactly what its title suggests, those hoping to see a gritty, risqué film about sex might find themselves disappointed as the credits roll.
Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks star as Zack Brown and Miri Linky, roommates and friends from high school who haven’t amounted to much since their graduation 10 years prior.
Strapped for cash after their water and electricity are turned off, the duo decide that the best way to fix their depressing financial situation is to make a porno. (This idea is inspired by a gay porn star, played brilliantly by Justin Long, whom the pair meets at their high school reunion). Funding for the duo’s project is provided by Zack’s coworker, Delancey (Craig Robinson), who is eager to see a naked woman other than his sub-par wife.
The generically titled film, “Star Whores,” boasts a cast that is almost as silly as its name; each actor has their own special “talent,” whether it is blowing bubbles from their unmentionables or being able to get it up almost instantly. Yes, the jokes are dirty and the sex is dirty – until the time comes for Zack and Miri to get it on in front of the camera.
The build-up to this scene is quite noticeable. Miri frequently jokes with Zack that he has wanted to get into her pants for awhile. The subtle flirting between the two, especially when Miri compliments Zack on his ambition, is obvious foreshadowing to the budding romance. Right before her scene with Zack is filmed, Miri declines a bottle of lubricant offered to her by one of her cast mates, stating that she won’t need it.
The scene between Zack and Miri is quite possibly one of the best in the film. Although it might be classified as cheesy and cliché, the chemistry between Rogan and Banks makes it seem very raw and real. Those who cringe at the thought of an “Aww, shucks” moment, rest assured – the cuts between sex to the crew nonchalantly filming what they have no idea is actual love-making, makes the scene rather comedic.
It is at this point where the movie goes from lewd and crude to sweet and sappy. It is romantic without the comedy, however wholly entertaining. The ending is predictable, but is left open for interpretation.
While many might be frustrated that the film cannot be classified specifically as a dirty comedy or a romantic comedy, it is refreshing to see a film that has a little something for everyone. Sure, it can be a bit silly and unrealistic, but that is what ultimately creates the most laughs. Rogan and Banks make their characters relatable and loveable enough that even the most heartless person will leave the theater smiling.