| The title characters met in first grade and have been friends ever since. They share an old car and live together platonically in a crummy hovel in Monroeville, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Zack (Seth Rogen from "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-old Virgin") is huskily built with curly reddish brown hair, a beard and mustache. He works in a local coffee shop.
Miri (short for Miriam) is played by Elizabeth Banks (currently on screen as Laura Bush in "W."), a blue-eyed blonde with cover girl looks. Miri works a low-paying job in the local shopping mall.
They act more like brother and sister than potential soul mates. They are strapped for cash and their unpaid bills are stacking up. In choosing an outfit to wear to their 10th high school reunion, Miri is captured by a cell phone camera wearing granny panties. This photo is spread onto the Internet where it draws a lot of hits, giving Miri a taste of being an instant celebrity.
After their water and electricity are turned off, the pair come up with the extreme idea of making an adult film.
Writer-director Kevin Smith ("Jersey Girl," "Chasing Amy" and "Clerks") parodies X-rated films with a movie that is sympathetic to the plight working people find themselves in today. It may bring to mind "Boogie Nights."
This romantic comedy is consistently very funny with cleverly written dialogue. The two leads are very likeable characters that you pull for to succeed. They share a nervous insecurity and anxious excitement over having sexual intercourse on camera with each other for the first time.
The movie makes the distinction between making love and meaningless sexual gratification. It points out that ordinary people can do something special to turn their lives around.
The supporting cast that includes Brandon Routh ("Superman Returns"), Justin Long (the Apple Mac computer guy from commercials), Traci Lords and Katie Morgan (both real-life adult film stars) nearly steals the show from Rogen and Banks.
The provocative title and subject matter have led to promotional problems. Stick figures replaced the original risqué marketing posters that were banned by the MPAA. The last three words of the title have been dropped for television and print ads at the request of the major broadcast networks and daily newspapers.
The movie does contain some raunchy sex and nudity. There is also no shortage of four-letter words.
This entertaining guilty pleasure provides the audience a relaxing outlet to release pent-up frustrations and remove sexual inhibitions. It may even rekindle the sparks of love and romance with your spouse or significant other.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"