Sex Tape a Shallow Exercise in Rekindling the Marital Spark
- Friday, July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: July 18, 2014
Rating: R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use)
Run Time: 94 min.
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe, Nat Faxon, Nany Lenehan, Giselle Eisenberg, Harrison Holzer, Sebastian Hedges Thomas
Like Judd Apatow did in everything from This is 40 to Funny People to Knocked Up, the filmmakers responsible for Sex Tape were clearly aiming for a similar intersection of racy, push-the-envelope humor with an underlying heart of gold.
Trouble is, as risqué yet relatable as Sex Tape tries to be, it pretty much misfires on all cylinders. Simply put, it's not funny. Or remotely heartwarming. And it's pretty much the worst example of product placement (cue the ever-present iPads) ever committed to film, so at least it’s good at something, right?
Reuniting Bad Teacher co-stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, the film's opening montage effectively sets the raunchy tone with an explicit valentine to the couple's pre-marriage sex life. Whether it's in the library stacks, the car, a restaurant's bathroom, their dorm room with the door open, no place or scenario was off-limits. But once the couple got married and dun-dun-dun! started having kids and careers, sex in the suburbs became practically non-existent, something that Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) are clearly lamenting.
Now after several failed attempts at rekindling the 'ol marital spark, Annie tries to mix things up by asking Jay if he'd like to videotape their next encounter. All he has to do is promise to erase it, and in return, she'll help re-enact all the positions illustrated in The Joy of Sex. Naturally, it doesn't take the proverbial rocket scientist to know what happens next.
Instead of taking responsibility for his major faux pas, Jay blames "the mysterious cloud" when their sex tape winds up on the iPads of their family, friends, mailman (don't ask) and even the family-friendly client who wants to sponsor Annie's popular mommy blog. So with their dignity, not to mention their personal and professional reputations on the line, Annie and Jay decide to take matters into their own hands by recovering those iPads—no matter what federal laws stand in the way.
Rather than being entertaining, however, the series of sitcom-y plot contrivances fall incredibly flat. Not only do Diaz and Segel lack believability as a couple, let alone a couple who's been married for a decade, they're simply too old to be acting this foolish. While actors, seasoned or otherwise, can only do so much with a terrible script, one would assume their ad-libbing instincts would kick in. Sadly, that never happens here. From the lame attempts at bawdy laughs to flimsy dialogue that goes nowhere in a hurry, not even cameos from the reliably entertaining likes of Rob Lowe (TV’s Parks and Recreation) and Jack Black (The Big Year) can save Sex Tape from being a total stinker.
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