Friday, November 14, 2008

The Morals of Kevin Smith

Last weekend, while I was home in the 'burgh, we caught Kevin Smith's new romantic comedy, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.

"Zack and Miri" had two draws for me. First, it was shot in the Pittsburgh area (and set in Monroeville). Second, I usually appreciate Kevin Smith movies.

Smith has spoken repeatedly about being a practicing Catholic and a regular Mass-goer -- to the surprise of many religious organizations and people of faith who have criticized the lewdness and language of his films.

Kevin Smith films, while nearly always superficially offensive, often have an underlying moral with a fairly "Catholic" world view about friendship, community and the search for God.

But, I digress.

First, a few disclaimers about "Zack and Miri," which the U.S. Catholic Bishops gave an "O" rating (morally offensive):

I AM NOT endorsing the premise of this movie (make porn when you can't pay your water and electricity bills). Pornography is dehumanizing, especially for women. No one should take part in pornography when they are down on their luck. I am likewise not endorsing promiscuity or anything else objectionable in this film.

Also, I AM NOT endorsing the language in this movie. This movie is not for grandma or the kids. The language is vulgar on several levels.

And, there is one PARTICULARLY DISGUSTING thing that happens in "Zack and Miri" (near the end). If particularly disgusting things bother you, don't put this one on your Netflix list.

OK, having said all of that ...

I laughed a lot during "Zack and Miri" (which at this writing has a 64 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes). The dialogue was funny, the characters were sympathetic and there was that Kevin Smith moral that -- in this one -- really wasn't underlying at all. Smith clearly points out that casual sex can have consequences for the people involved and that there's a difference between having sex and making love.

Smith also brought together a good ensemble cast playing an ensemble cast (in the porno) who come to support one another in multiple ways -- demonstrating the importance of friendship and community.

FYI: Barbara Vancheri penned a fairly positive review of "Zack and Miri" for the P-G.

1 comment:

HowiTown said...

This one will never make it across the big lake . . .