Director: Jake Kasdan
Writers: Jason Segel, Kate Angelo, Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe, Jack Black, Nat Faxon, Nancy Lenehan, Giselle Eisenberg, Harrison Holzer, Sebastian Hedges Thomas, Timothy Brennen, Krisztina Koltai, Randall Park, Joe Stapleton, James Wilcox
Synopsis: A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
1 / 10
- Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel have great chemistry together, and make the film somewhat enjoyable.
- Weak story that's extremely predictable and cliched
- Poorly written supporting characters that add little to nothing to the overall story
- Humor is severely tamed considering the subject matter
- Most of the humor is hit or miss, and often missing it's mark because it relies on physical comedy aspects that don't often match up well with the story.
- Good moral, but it's poorly executed in this feature.
When all else fails to revitalize your sex life with your lover, then why not make a porno?
"Sex Tape" is arguably one of the most underwhelming films of 2014 by far. The concept of the film seems like it would lend itself well to being a funny d*** joke movie, with little emphasis on the story. However, like "Tammy", this one tries to be more than what it's initially suppose to be, in order to achieve what "Neighbors" did earlier this year.
On the surface, "Neighbors" was a hilarious d*** joke film, but underneath that surface was a movie that had a surprisingly deep story than the trailers initially gave it credit for. It had an underlying subtext about life in general, and how everyone at some point in their lives needs to embrace the concept of getting older. It was a surprisingly deep message for a d*** joke film, and it was interwoven into the plot seamlessly without it interfering with the comedy aspect of the movie itself. This not only made "Neighbors" come off as ingenuous, but very inspiring.
Whereas as a film like "Tammy", it was a fun raunchy comedy that tried to have a deep underlying message about life, but the point was kind of vague, and it wasn't executed well either. Throughout "Tammy", we're shown that she has a sad life, where she loses her job, and finds out her husband has been cheating on her. Yet, we also find out she did the same damn thing earlier before she found out about his affair, so I guess you can say her moral was s*** happens...maybe? Again, the underlying message for "Tammy" wasn't thought out too well.
In the case of "Sex Tape", it tries to be a raunchy adult comedy, while presenting a complex underlying subtext about how sometimes couples forget why they've fallen in love with each other to begin with; which can lead to a lack of passion in one's marriage life. It's an interesting aspect to the say least, and "Sex Tape" does a helluva a lot better job setting up the moral than "Tammy" did. However, where this film falls short is that it fails to be remotely funny.
Outside of the few scenes that are featured in the trailers, most of this movie's humor falls flat on it's face half the time. Granted, you can tell the actors are trying their best to make the lines work, but most of the jokes aren't written particularly well. Relying mostly on various physical comedy aspects that don't often mesh well with some of the film's raunchy style of humor regarding various sex jokes and references. Sure, there's a few funny moments here and there, but it's nothing that'll make you laugh right out of your seat.
The film centers around a couple that used to have a lot of passion early on in their relationship, but they seem to have lost that spark over the years. Rundown by the weight of raising a family, working and fulfilling their responsibilities as adults, as they rarely ever have time for each other anymore. Let alone to even have sex. And, whenever they do have sex, it's always scheduled and planned out in advance. It just isn't the same anymore like it was in their younger days, where they could've literally had sex anytime they wanted; which would fuel a lot of the passion in their relationship.
Annie (Cameron Diaz) has become a sexually frustrated housewife that happens to be a successful online blogger, where a big corporation plans on buying it from her fairly soon. Meanwhile, Jay (Jason Segel) seems to work at a radio station, and he loves giving away free ipads to people. What makes these ipads so unique though is that they're all linked to the one that he has at home. He does this because he often updates his playlist on it, and many of his friends and family enjoy his taste in music. Therefore, whenever he updates it, then they get an updated version of it as well. Wow, I wish I had a friend like that.
However, as Annie asks in her online blog, "How do you get that passion back in your marriage?" Gee, I guess most guys should be thankful that their women don't have blogs to write about their sex lives with them. Am I right? Or am I right? Anyway, Annie and Jay try to do almost anything and everything to get that spark back in their marriage.
Heck, they even try role playing a bit, but that doesn't seem to work. And, there's even one moment where Jay suffers from erectile dysfunction, when they're about to have sex. Wow, that's a tough break. After exhausting all their options, Annie comes up with the idea of making a porno with Jay, in order to bring back the passion into their marriage again. Jay agrees, and they make a porn video of themselves having sex.
The idea was that they would make a porno, but they would instantly delete the copy on their ipad. Of course, due to a series of events, that porno they made gets sent out to all their friends and family, so they're forced to collect every ipad they've ever given away before anyone can see it. Add in the fact that you have a character that's blackmailing them for money, or else the porno will be uploaded onto an amateur sex site for everyone to see, and you pretty much have the whole story in a nutshell.
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel have a great rapport with each other, as you can genuinely buy them as a couple. However, the supporting cast leaves something to be desired. Unlike the two main protagonists in this film, the majority of the supporting characters are nothing more than generic stereotypes, or they're simply bland uninteresting characters that add relatively little to the overall story arc.
Granted, I can see what "Sex Tape" was trying to do, and the premise of the story seems like it would lead to a lot of comedic possibilities. However, throughout most of the film, it seems like most of the adult humor seems rather tame at best. Hell, "22 Jump Street" and "Neighbors" took more chances with their comedies than this, and those were funny as hell. Yet with "Sex Tape", it seems like most of adult humor is played down quite a bit; which is a shame because the story lends itself well being a raunchy d*** joke film if they would've gone that route.
Of course, it doesn't help that the story is very predictable, and a bit cliched as well. Say what you want about "Neighbors", but the thing that made it such a great comedy was the fact that even though it was essentially a generic d*** joke movie, it still managed to convey something deeper than that. It managed to present a story where you didn't know exactly where it was going take you. Whereas "Sex Tape", it tries to do the same thing, but it fails miserably because the story is predictable, and the humor is played down to be rather safe. If anything, you could've easily edited out the nude scenes with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in this feature, and they probably would've gotten away with a "PG-13" rating instead, as the nude scenes alone are the only thing justifying the "R" rating for this feature.
Overall, "Sex Tape" is probably one of the most of underwhelming comedies that I've seen all year. I'll admit whoever put together the trailers for this film did a great job making it seem like a funnier film than it actually was, as they definitely had me fooled going into this. It's just a shame that the film itself isn't as funny, as the trailer make it out to be. Unless you want to see Cameron Diaz and/or Jason Segel strut around naked in various parts of the film, then I would avoid this one like the plaque.
© 2014 Steven Escareno