Note: This review will be full of sexual references. Sorry.
What’s it all about?:
Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) are a married couple that had way too much sex while dating. Now married and burdened with responsibilities otherwise known to normal human beings as parenthood, their sex life is put on hold, much to the frustration of both. One night, when the kids are away, the couple tries to get back on track with their sex life but ultimately fail due to a number of distractions. Undeterred, they decide to spice up their life by shooting a sex tape… where the couple attempts every position found in “The Joy of Sex” book. Of course, Jay forgets to delete the video and sends the video “up to the cloud”, syncing it to a bunch of different iPads that he has given out to a number of people.
The Leads: In Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz, Sex Tape has two talented and likable comedic leads. The both of them also have experience working with one another, having previously collaborated on Bad Teacher. The movie also has a somewhat racy premise, one which the two stars are fully on board with. Segel and Diaz are pretty much buck naked for their sex scenes, which is a nice change. Plus, the movie doesn’t try to create the unbelievable illusion of people actually doing the deed with their clothes on.
Not so cool:
Muddled/Confused Tone: However, as far as good things go… that’s about it for “Sex Tape”. While the idea of a movie based around a sex tape is somewhat novel… the “formerly cool and hip couple now saddled with parenthood” archetype that its characters are cast in really isn’t. Even worse, after about 45 minutes into the movie, you start to realize that this idea probably sounded better on paper than it really is on screen. The movie makes the characters go on a giant chase that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere just to lengthen the plot, which is understandable… but still frustrating to sit through. (If Jay has the skills to sync playlists across multiple devices… he doesn’t know how to do a remote wipe?) Perhaps, the concept may just be more suited to a sitcom episode than a full length feature film.
And while there is a smattering of laughs in the film (due to the fact that penises are generally funny to talk about unless you’re dealing with prostrate cancer), they aren’t there on a consistent basis. The wait time between laughs can be long as the movie seem coasts slowly towards the expected heart-warming conclusion. The lack of any real palpable tension as the plot and story moves along really hurts the movie in a big way.
Ultimately, Sex Tape really suffers because it doesn’t know what its real identity is. For an R-rated comedy named Sex Tape, it really is quite tamed. There are far naughtier, grosser or smutty comedies out there, which happen to be much funnier too. There’s also the rom-com aspect of Sex Tape but to be honest… almost nothing about this is romantic. Like a Craigslist ad gone wrong, it’s this weird double promise of wacky, sexy jokes combined with just enough warm fuzzy romantic vibes that really doesn’t pan out that disappoints the most. The movie’s dual aspects aren’t really pulled off well enough by the filmmakers for the movie to function, and what you get instead is a movie whose tone is muddled and unclear. “Sex Tape” is a movie that tries to go all the way, but ends up limp, made slightly more palatable by the talent of its two stars.