Sex Tape (2014) – Review

Directed by Jake Kasdan
Written by Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you, sponsored by Apple, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel trying to be funny in the most crass way we could imagine. Yes, you may have thought we’d already scraped the bottom of the barrel of unimaginative, pointless, tasteless garbage, but here we are, proud (apparently) to bring you a new low in our latest series of ways to waste forty million dollars.
I’ve said it before, but there are children starving in the world. And this is what the powers that be decide to create (and I use the term as loosely as possible) even though their good conscience must have surely told them to steer clear.
Alright then, here we go. This will be short and (not so) sweet. Parents of two kids, Jay and Annie (Segel and Diaz) are having the same problem with their sex life as everyone other couple with kids. They don’t have time for each other any more and their sex life is going downhill faster than the critical reviews of the film itself. So, in order to spice up their diminishing libidos, Annie suggests recording themselves having sex, as the roller-skates and tequila just don’t seem to be doing it for either of them. With the help of the good people of Apple, they record this three hour re-creation of the positions in The Joys of Sex on their ipad. This gets accidentally uploaded to ‘the cloud’ and to every one of the devices that Jay and Annie have given out as gifts to his friends and other acquaintances.
What follows are the misadventures of this couple as they realise what has happened and attempt to get back all of the ipads they have given away that contain their all too graphic performance, with mixed and farcical results.
“Maybe everybody has an eleven-inch dildo in their nightstand.”
“That’s a beautiful metaphor, honey.”
And the quote above is just an example of the kind of misjudgment the makers are guilty of. No, not everybody does. Nor does everybody find jokes about them funny. We are not prudes, nor frigid, but we do draw the line at making attempted jokes that don’t hit the mark and at the same time inexplicably reduce humour to its lowest common denominator. I loved the coarse and vulgar genius that was Bridesmaids, for example, but that’s because the writing was excellent and the performances delivered that script with brilliant timing. Here the film drags to such an extent that you really want to get up and leave after the premise is set because you know in your gut that this is as good as it gets and that the rest of the film is going to be spent following these two idiots around as they attempt to right the wrong that started this whole pointless exercise.
To be fair, the film starts well enough. Lust’s young dream, constant bonking, various positions, various places etc does make for an amusing opener, but too soon the film sinks into predictability. This is not original material and wasn’t that funny the first hundred or so times we saw it elsewhere. As a comment on marriage and parenthood, it’s bluntly obvious to everyone, and it seems that the makers have stomped on our personal suffering as parents just to set up a couple of jokes that don’t hit the mark. Maybe they were hoping for recognition from like-minded audiences? Who gives an ipad to a postman as a gift? As parents and partners of some years, can we relate to these people? Obviously not, and this is why the film failed, in addition to the lame idea and shoddy script.
Diaz and Segel have both done much, much better and it’s a shame to see them flounder in this. It’s not been an auspicious year for Diaz, with this and the underachieving The Other Woman, and Segel, who also co-writes here, has not managed to recreate the success of The Muppets as yet.
Avoid if you can possibly help it, as there is little to take from this. It lacks even the humour required to carry your interest from start to finish. Like many of the worst films of this year, just watch thrailer and save yourself an hour and a half.
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