So, as my last post mentions, my fiancée and I finally caught “ Zack and Miri Make a Porno ” today. Now, before I begin, let me state that I was as predisposed to enjoying this movie as one could possible be; it is by Kevin Smith—for whom I bear a rather untoward quantity of adulation, and it features Seth Rogen— whose work has always amused me thus far. Well, the short of it is that it is a fantastic movie. It might very well be my favorite of the Kevin Smith films, only review to see if it stands up after dozens of viewings will reveal if it can beat the almighty “Clerks ”. The long of it, well, read on... (warning, may contain spoilers if you aren't in tune with the obvious.)
Opening weekend, I received no less than 5 text messages indicating that I absolutely had to go see the flick because I “am” Seth Rogen's character, Zack. In the weeks that followed, time after time I was told the same thing. Now, clearly there are commonalities in our outward appearance, our mutual rotundity and less-than-leading-man-good-looks for example, but I was informed that it was more than that. I had my doubts.
I no longer doubt. Throughout the film, Ger and I were both amused not just by the witty and raunchy humor, but by the distinct Jer-ness of Zack's lines, actions, and mannerisms. It felt like I was being aped in a far more impressive and funny fashion, and it certainly worked for me. Beyond my egotistical amusement at seeing me on the big screen, though, the movie was absolutely hysterical. Kevin Smith does dialogue like noone else, and this is certainly no exception. The opening third was so full of laughs that I made the comment ( then posted it) that if the movie ended right then (at around the 30 minute mark) I would consider the price of admission to be money well spent. Ger agreed. This movie is an absolute riot. There were countless moments where both of us were laughing until tears slid down our cheeks. Side-splitting, even. Somewhere, however, amidst all of this hilarity, a real story began.
Now, I am a simple critter; I don't require high-art in order to be entertained, and “Zack and Miri” could have merely trotted out the sex jokes and called it a day and I would have walked out reasonably happy. Instead, a romance unfolded, and a very sweet one at that.
Yes, a romance.
Now, for my money, this might have been the most romantic movie I have seen in years, but that is because Ger and I have an interesting romance of our own (something I would genuinely like to dive into in a more specific fashion in a later article, perhaps); Smith managed to mirror it in spectacular fashion. Rogen's Zack does not buy flowers, speak in flowery prose, or weep; what he does, however is show emotion in a prosaic, heartfelt way and to my mind, that is far more difficult to express on the screen. By the end, the movie did what “Jersey Girl” could never quite manage—deliver balanced emotion and comedy without becoming maudlin or sappy; quite a feat.
In the end, this is absolutely a movie I would recommend; I, personally, will be purchasing a copy when it comes out on DVD. It is a rare movie that leaves me wishing it was just a bit longer when it ended (and for those of you that stayed to see the end of the credits, it actually was longer!) If I were the sort of guy that gives rating scales in terms of pseudo-witty star-replacements, I would give this two dutch rudders and a half a chub.