Zack and Miri Make a Porno is very much a Kevin Smith movie, except it kind of isn’t. The filmmaker’s eighth feature was just his second to take place outside of the View Askewniverse after forgotten rom-com Jersey Girl and came armed with one of his biggest ever budgets at $24 million, but it’s still an R-rated and raunchy comedy with a streak of genuine sweetness that features Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson in supporting roles.
As you may have inferred from the title, the story revolves around the relationship between Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks’ characters, lifelong best friends and roommates who find themselves in dire financial straits. In an effort to raise some capital, the duo decide to venture into the world of adult filmmaking, swearing that their friendship won’t be compromised by having sex on camera, and you can no doubt guess how things turn out in the end.
In theory, the movie was poised to ride a wave of buzz and minor controversy to decent box office takings after generating headlines because there were numerous publications and outlets that wouldn’t run any ads for the project because of the word ‘porno,’ but Zack and Miri only wound up earning just over $42 million despite scoring some of the strongest reviews of Smith’s career.
Ignoring the title, premise and some serious gross-out humor that stretches the rating to the limit, it’s arguably his most accessible effort as well, and having slipped under the radar thirteen years ago, there’s a good chance that Zack and Miri Make a Porno could find a second life on Netflix now that it’s been added to the world’s most popular streaming service from today.