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Zack and Miri Make a Porno

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Roommates and BFFs Zack (Judd Apatow mascot Seth Rogen, sporting enough unbecoming facial hair to make him resemble a Sasquatch monster) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks in an unintentionally amusing segue from her recent stint as Laura Bush in W.) are so cash-strapped they can’t afford to pay their rent or utility bills. Director Kevin Smith gives away the “solution” to the financial crunch in the film’s title, but the idea that anyone could make a killing with an amateur porn video in the XTube era seems preposterous. Why pay for something you can get for free 24/7 on the internet? And choosing to make Zack and Miri’s porno a hardcore send-up of Star Wars (titled, duh, Star Whores) only dates the entire concept further. You’d swear that Smith had been living in his parents’ basement for the last 30 years. The romantic stuff — Zack and Miri come to the realization that, golly gee, they complete each other — might have carried more weight if the characters hadn’t been portrayed in such grossly unflattering, coarsely caricatured terms until that bottom-of-the-ninth-inning descent into Nora Ephron territory. It’s tough to care whether these working-class schlubs get their happily-ever-after if we’ve never particularly warmed to them in the first place. H

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