New movies opening locally this week
October 30, 2008
The extreme opposites within Kevin Smith’s filmmaking personality co-exist here, to hit-and-miss effect. Yes, there is a ton of sex in “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” as the title would suggest, including one scene that is so incredibly wrong, words don’t even begin to describe it.
A proliferation of raw, raunchy dialogue has always been one of the writer-director’s preferred tactics, dating back to his pioneering 1994 debut, “Clerks,” and that’s certainly true this time, as well ” actually, it’s more relevant than usual.
But “Zack and Miri” also reflects the sweetness that has crept intermittently into Smith’s movies in recent years as he’s settled into his real-life roles as husband and father. (See: “Jersey Girl.”) A guy and a girl, longtime best friends and roommates, realize they’re secretly in love with each other ” it’s one of the most hackneyed romantic comedy premises of all time. Through Smith’s skewed prism, though, Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) achieve this epiphany while having on-camera sex during an amateur adult movie, something they do out of desperation to pay the bills during a miserable Pittsburgh winter.
Rogen and Banks make an extremely likable comic pair, despite the fact that they’re an unlikely romantic match (or perhaps because of it). Both are clearly comfortable in such naughty but highly verbal territory as alumni of Judd Apatow movies ” and, as in Apatow’s “Knocked Up,” this is yet another wish-fulfillment comedy in which the tubby, schlubby Rogen lands an impossibly beautiful woman who would never give him the time of day in real life.
R for strong crude sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity and pervasive language. 101 min. Two and a half stars out of four.
Something evil lurks just beneath the surfaces of teenage girl’s private-school world ” and it holds the rights to her soul. Now, on the eve of her 18th birthday, Molly Hartley is about to discover the truth of just who ” or rather what ” it is she is destined to become.
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PG-13 for 13 strong thematic material, violence and terror, brief strong language and some teen drinking. 97 min.