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Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Year: 2009
Production Co: Blue Askew
Director: Kevin Smith
Producer: Scott Mosier
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Seth Rogen, Eizabeth Banks, Traci Lords, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson, Katie Morgan, Brandon Routh, Justin Long
Only Kevin Smith could come up with such a catalogue of filth and find tenderness right down deep inside it. Perhaps unwittingly, he's made a parable for the relationship between sex and love in the today's world, where sex has never been so all pervasive in society but the tenderness and connection we get from love is as ephemeral as a whisper, showing up in the unlikeliest of places amid all that flesh and debauchery.

So it does for Zack (Rogen) and Miri (Banks), lifelong friends living atypical post modern Generation Xers' lives, sharing a house in a wintry Pittsburgh neighbourhood and holding down mundane jobs, never quite having grown up.

After attending their high school reunion and discovering the worst (for Zack, that he really is a dead-end loser, for Miri, throwing herself at her former crush only to discover he's a gay porn actor) they hit a dead end when their power, water and heat are all shut off from unpaid bills.

With nothing left to lose, Zack convinces Miri they should shoot a hardcore porn film, and here the film takes a similar but much smuttier tangent to The Amateurs as they assemble a cast of misfits and lurch from one production crisis to another.

Finally it comes time for their big scene together, one the pair have been approaching nervously in anticipation of it adversely affecting their friendship, and they both feel the camera and the rest of the world fade away in each others' arms.

It's as much a View-Askewniverse homage to moviemaking as it is to the DIY porn movement, so full of references and director in-jokes you won't catch them all first time around (who else but hardcore film fans would understand a hockey team called the Monroeville Zombies?)

And while there are plenty of (expected) laughs and visuals as confronting as you'd expect from an R rated movie for their sexual or disgusting content, Smith keeps things on an even keel and avoids cliché as he finds the kernel of beauty inside such a sloshing bucket of smut.

Justin Long's role as the lover and sometime co-star to the gay pornstar also has to go down as one of the classic scene-stealers of all time.

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