3 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86 minutes
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There are lots of places one could spend Christmas Eve. Hanging out at an adult bookstore, however, probably wouldn’t be way up there on the list. Yet, there’s quite a party going on at Amazing Video, much to the delight of the store’s gentle, excitable and germ-o-phobic owner Joe (Joe Smith). Tina (Tina Carlucci), Joe’s sexy, frank and knowledgeable about all things carnal sales clerk, and her semi-estranged boyfriend — and cousin — Adam (Adam Sarner) man the counter and debate whether or not Adam and Grace (Grace Creech), Joe’s eighteen-year old niece, have crushes on each other. All the while, the oddball, borderline-useless duo of Dean (Dean Haspiel) and Christian (Christian Ulrich) pretend to be the security detail. Joining these regulars are a cast of quirky customers and star struck losers willing to spend Christmas Eve waiting around in an adult bookstore just to meet and get the autograph of adult film star Dyanna Lauren. (One highlight is a scene-stealing cameo by red-hot techno recording artist — and “Porno’s” Executive Producer — Moby as “Dildo Head.”)
One of the hallmarks of low-budget indie filmmaking has always been a filmmaker’s creative use of his or her available assets. Obviously director Paul Yates had access to a rather expansive adult bookstore — probably best not to know the details of that arrangement — and managed to stage a passable, offbeat quirk of a movie inside it. There’s no real plot to “Porno,” appropriate for a film that takes place in a store full of plot-less skin flicks. Instead, the movie consists of a string of loosely related set pieces, comical vignettes, split-screen riffs on sexuality and even the occasional silly music video. Yates even manages to work in a totally non-sequitur sub-plot involving UFO aliens on the lam.
The film requires a total suspension of belief, in that it asks the viewer to believe these entirely normal looking folks would be hanging around an adult bookstore the way others hang out at a coffee shop. Still, when “Porno” works, it’s good goofy fun. When it doesn’t, which, to be honest, is usually the case, it’s still not a disaster; merely as awkward and clumsy as a virgin’s first time.

Posted on January 9, 2002 in Reviews by

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