SEX TAPE Movie Review – Just…why?
Cameron Diaz isn’t afraid to leave it all on the line. No stranger to R-rated comedies, the actress has shown time and again she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get a laugh, including acting like she has sperm in her hair. Re-team her with her Bad Teacher co-star Jason Segel, another actor willing to let it all hang out there, and their new film Sex Tape should be an over-the-top comedy of epic proportions, right? Right?
Annie and Jay (Diaz and Segel) are a married couple stuck in a rut. They haven’t had sex for weeks, and it’s starting to wear on them. After Annie’s blog about motherhood strikes it big with a company headed by Hank (Rob Lowe), they decide to celebrate one night, which is capped by the pair drunkenly making a sex tape. Wouldn’t you know it, the tape gets sent out to everyone who’s ever received an iPad from Jay, who works in the music industry. He’s constantly buying new iPads as part of some convoluted, illogical plan to store more music, so he gives out the old ones as gifts. Even Jay admits the plan doesn’t make sense, and outside of it being the reason to get the sex tape out there and move the plot forward, it really doesn’t. And with that, the race is on to stop everyone they know from seeing the video.
Sex Tape is full of half-baked jokes and unrealized plot lines. What could have been a raucous sex romp is instead a watered-down movie that’s more concerned with Jason Segel almost killing a dog than it is with anything to do with sex, or a sex tape. Whatever improvisation there was by the cast feels suffocated by simple plotting and strained twists, like Lowe’s CEO character having a tattoo of Easy E on his chest. It’s just…stupid. And not in that fun, stupid kind of way it should be.
The impetus, in the beginning, for getting the tape back is to stop everyone with an iPad from viewing it. After Jay and Annie make sure her mom, their best friends and her new boss don’t have it, they stop worrying about who has the video, even after a prolonged bit about Annie freaking out about the mailman seeing the tape.
Bad Teacher, which was also directed by Sex Tape helmer Jake Kasdan, wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was at least fun, and the chemistry between Diaz and Segel was entertaining. The chemistry is still there, sort of, but everything else feels off. Segel seems uncomfortable half the time, especially around Rob Lowe, as if Lowe’s presence intimidates the actor. Diaz is still game for most anything, but every time the movie has a chance to go crazy, it reins itself back in.
This summer has been full of disappointing comedies, from A Million Ways to Die in the West to Tammy. Add Sex Tape to that list, an unfunny slog of a movie that wastes every opportunity it had to be good.