Friday, March 06, 2009


Chasing Chasing Amy

By Edward Copeland
I like Kevin Smith and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even though I've only met him once, I liked him as a person. Despite the fact that he's made far more movies I've been disappointed in than I've liked, I still look forward to his films, silently rooting for him, hoping that this movie will be the one that brings back the filmmaker I admired in the first place. Unfortunately, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is not that movie.

In a strange way, Zack and Miri seems as if Smith is trying to make a Judd Apatow movie. He certainly has plenty of Apatow alums in the cast, but the film doesn't work as an Apatow homage any better than it does as a Kevin Smith film.

The plot is simple: Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks play the title characters, lifelong platonic friends who share an apartment and the bills. Unfortunately for them, they get far behind and have their electricity and water cut off. After a visit to their 10th high school reunion (which is really the film's funniest sequence, especially thanks to a cameo by Justin Long), Zack gets the bright idea of making a cheap porno film to help finance their continued existence.

Of course, it's a crazy idea. Making a porno to pay for the utilities on a crappy apartment while they continue to work at a low-paying jobs is absurd to say the least. However, I'd let that go if Smith's writing was sharp and funny like I know it can be, but Smith's script seems lazy here. It left me with a feeling of sadness instead of giving me lots of laughs.

I know Smith still has it in him, even if it has been 12 years since he moved to a new level with Chasing Amy, I still have faith in him. I fear he was scarred by the Jersey Girl experience and its Ben Affleck-J-Lo sideshow.
Perhaps it is time for Smith to stretch his skills to a different genre and steer clear of relationship movies for awhile, just to see what happens. I know you can do it, Kevin. Don't waste your time on films such as Zack and Miri. Your lack of enthusiasm is showing.

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I thought it was alright. It seemed to sell out a bit towards the end though. When he gives her the speech about not fucking around and saying how they feel and then she.... didn't, I felt like it had become exactly what it didn't want to be - a standard rom-com, allbeit a dirty one.
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