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Zack And Miri Make A Porno review

In Kevin Smith’s eighth feature, two longterm flatmates with financial worries suddenly realise they love each other while being filmed copulating on a sack of coffee beans.

Oh Kev, you old romantic! This key clinch is one of several, along with an adult actress who can blow bubbles out of her nethers (Traci Lords), a pair of bickering gay porn hunks (Justin Long and Brandon Routh) and a scene where a luckless cameraman (Clerks’ Jeff Anderson) gets a face full of faeces from the rectum of a constipated starlet.

True, in the early going, a good rate of gags hit the mark. But when push comes to shove, Zack And Miri is all talk - a ribald riot of twisted movie titles (Lawrence Of A Labia, Cock And Lips Now), cultish referencing (Sleeping With The Enemy, Highlander) and a tired skit that pays lip-service to Smith’s trademark Star Wars fetish:
strapped for cash, wannabe auteurs Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks conceive a Star Whores spoof populated by the likes of Hung Solo, Princess Lay-Her and Darth Vibrator.

That the latter never gets past the planning stage (hey, George Lucas’ tolerance only goes so far) embodies the script’s essential prudery and reluctance to make
good on its titular promise. Put simply, it’s all lube and no spunk.

It’s also old hat, the trials and tribulations of making a low-budget skin flick having already been well-mined in Jeff Bridges’ 2005 comedy The Moguls. What ultimately scuppers Zack And Miri is its bare-faced double standards,

Smith being happy to flaunt the assets of real-life erotica star Katie Morgan and the flaccid cock of serial dependent Jason Mewes while keeping Rogen and Banks discreetly half-clothed.

This have-my-cake hypocrisy undermines the film’s satirical ambitions and makes it only one knowing smirk away from outright exploitation.

Mark Samuels

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