…and prove that making them is a lot more fun than watching them. (I mean, so I’ve heard.) Still, you might be curious to take a peek…
Sex Tape opens to Diaz’s character Annie recollecting the first time her (now) husband Jay, played by Segel, had seen her naked. For the next 10 minutes or so, we’re treated to a whirlwind review of every sexual encounter between them from when they first met until they get married. Then things, um… grind to a halt.
Annie writes a mom blog, and the point she’s making in recounting their history is the dampener having kids is on their sex life. It all boils down to, she argues, time. They’re just too busy and too tired.
The article inspires Annie to make some time for her and Jay, and further inspires her to try and rekindle the magic. Thus: the Sex Tape. They use Jay’s work iPad, which syncs to the cloud. Naturally, things get out of hand fast.
As the two frantically tour the city attempting to retrieve each work tablet, they encounter a series of unwitting recipients, and this is where the comedy ensues.
Rob Lowe and Rob Corddry serve as two foils during the spree, and provide some of the most amusing moments. Corddry is Jay’s best friend who maybe, kinda, wants to see the video. Lowe portrays Annie’s potential future boss, Hank, a Steve Jobs type owner of a wholesome family toy company, where all the executives speak with that currently popular, very, very annoying vocal fry young women seem to like using so much. We learn Hank has many not-so-wholesome extracurricular activities.
Segel wrote the story with two others, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall scribe Nicholas Stoller, who also directly the recently released Neighbors. The film is based on a story by Kate Angelo. Sex Tape counts as a minor contribution to the recently exploding catalog of hard “R” romantic comedies. The opening strongly resembles the open to Neighbors, and often feels like it’s telling us these guys have run out of steam on the subject. They’re all very talented, so perhaps a new milieu is in order. It’s also worth noting that most of the characters swear incessantly. Sometimes the creators want situations to feel natural and encourage the actors to use conversational language, so the film doesn’t seem overly dramatic or ‘actorly.’ But when the “F” word competes with “like” for the most used filler word in a sentence, it starts to feel awkward. When combined with some serious moments, it often shifts the tone of the film far from the outrageous comedy it wants to be.
Still, there are some scenes that strike the funny-bone with aplomb. As previously mentioned, Corddry and especially Lowe’s antics slay. Each could have been revisited at points through the movie to amp up what was already working really well. And near the end of the movie, we watch excepts from “the tape” and some scenes are a riot.
Overall, Sex Tape is a mild distraction that could have benefited from a deeper mining of the hilarious situations its subject matter has to offer.
Copyright 2014, Sony.