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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Zach and Miri entertain as they make a porno

Published: December 5, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

As a good friend of mine wrote as his status the night Obama was elected, “You know you live in a great country where a black man is elected president and a movie about making a porno is going to make money.” He meant this seriously, of course.

I think it’s safe to say that we were all interested in what Zack and Miri Make a Porno was going to be like. I left the States before the commercials started, but I don’t think anyone cared about the plot. We just wanted to see what Seth Rogen was doing next after Pineapple Express.

Thus, off I went to the theater to see, well, Zack and Miri make a porno.

The film definitely caught me off guard, especially in the first ten minutes of the film when some memorable characters appeared on screen. First was the arrival of Craig Robinson, who is easily recognizable from his roles in both The Office and Pineapple Express. Then, Gerry Bednob came out and you quickly remembered him from his role in The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.

Straight away, I was expecting a memorable cast, though perhaps all-star isn’t the correct word.

Anyway, to the plot. The movie is about two people (Zack, played by Rogen, and Miri, played by Elizabeth Banks who you might recognize from Scrubs) who have been best friends since grade school, but are not doing great things with their lives. One works at the local mall and the other works at a coffee house somewhat cleverly names Bean-N-Gone.

They still live in the town they grew up in and the movie starts on the day they are going to their ten-year high school reunion. Before the reunion, Miri tries on different outfits at the coffee shop. Not knowing that she can be seen changing, Miri continues taking her clothes off much to the delight of two teenage boys sitting nearby. They notice that Miri is wearing a pretty intense pair of “granny panties” and thus start taking video on their phone. Zack comes to the rescue and moons the boys, who promptly leave the store.

That evening at the reunion, Zack and Miri meet Justin Long’s character, who is a gay porn star. It turns out, though, that they are not nearly as excited to meet him as he is to meet them as Long recognizes Miri from the new YouTube video “Granny Panties,” which was a hit. When Zack and Miri return home that night to a house whose water and power has been shut off, they begin to think up ideas as to how to make money.

Obviously they settle on the idea of making a porno, and that’s when the plot really begins. Besides the Long cameo other film favorites show up in Zack and Miri, including Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob) and Jeff Anderson (from Clerks).  I know I was excited to see them and it certainly made the film better to have them in it.

The plot of the movie was only so-so. Not much about it was surprising and it was easy to see where it was going. The cast was fabulous and I really enjoyed what they contributed to the film. Essentially, the movie was just an hour and a half of people having sex, but for what it was, it was definitely entertaining. If you’re just looking for some humorous entertainment, but not a movie you would probably want to see again, then this is the film for you.