Sex Tape Makes You Yearn For More Professional Porn – A Review



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Weak premise, weaker film

The latest trend in many romantic comedies seems to be trying to tackle couples for whom an active sex life has gone to the wayside because of careers and children, among other things. Chris Rock tackled that in his remake of Chloe in the Afternoon, I Think I Love My Wife, and now Jake Kasdan reunites the people behind Bad Teacher with Sex Tape. And much like his misfire of a film about the education system, Kasdan has launched another with Sex Tape.

Simple premise. Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) had an insane sex life upon meeting and up until their marriage. A pair of careers by each, as well as a pair of children, and their once extraordinary sex life has hit the skids. Then a night away from the kids, and some tequila, give them inspiration. They decide to make a sex tape, exploring the old classic “The Joys of Sex” with the intention to delete it shortly after the deed has been done. But Jay’s love of syncing everything he’s ever done with every iPad he’s ever had leaves him with one unintended consequence: everyone he knows now has a copy of he and his wife’s sex tape.

The two combine to try and erase it before it goes online, leading to all sorts of shenanigans. And what sounds like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch that drags on for 15 minutes has been extended to a 90 minute running time, resulting in a strong candidate for worst film of 2014. Sex Tape has a volume of problems but the biggest one begins with its failure to embrace the R rating it’s been given.

This is essentially a PG-13 film gussied up to an R rating with some foul language, nothing more, as Kasdan fails to really exploit it. This is a film that as an R-rated film should be dirty and filthy; it’s about sex and the making of a sex tape. There’s no reasonable thought pattern to try and make this a slightly edgier PG-13 film and as such this conceivably could’ve had that rating. Take out some language and there isn’t all that much it really needs to be a PG-13 film despite its racy premise. There’s very little nudity from all involved, despite the premise being about sex and a sex tape, and as such this feels like an awful compromise of an R-rated film.

It’s as if they cut out a ton of material to go for a PG-13 film and just missed … instead of going “put all the really racy stuff back in” someone just left it as is and this is the finished product. This is a film that needs some tech work, as well, as only the dumbest of the dumb will buy a premise as ludicrous as a syncing issue causing this file to spread. To get the film to work the film’s three credited writers had to use such a ridiculous premise that can’t happen; it would’ve been easier for them to not use the cloud concept (it sounds likely to happen for dumb people, of course) and make it more realistic but doesn’t sound nearly as funny on paper.

The other problem is that the film barely hits on any of its jokes. This is a film that lives and dies on its premise … and the premise just isn’t funny. It’s boring at best, a bad SNL sketch that went off the rails in 2006 to some infamy, and in 2014 only people with no understanding of how technology works will buy it. Rob Corddry has moments where he nearly steals the film, of course, but it’s not all that hard when there’s nothing funny that he’s taking away from. The film might actually better if you think of it as a drama between two manic people who made a mistake because as a comedy it’s not all that funny.

You can feel the chemistry between Diaz and Segel, who have great comic timing together, and it’s a shame that they don’t have anything that would resemble a good film to star in. Both have been funny elsewhere and the combination of the duo and Kasdan seems to take away anything funny the two have.

The problems with the film were evident in the trailer. Sex Tape had a dud of a trailer because it didn’t have anything funny to put into it. That was as good a selling point as it could be … and it left you thinking that perhaps the best parts were reserved for the film itself. It isn’t. Sex Tape is just as awful as it looked in previews.

Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Notable Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper

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