BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
OCTOBER 20, 2014
“Who has sex for three hours? That’s the length of the movie “Lincoln.” You did the full “Lincoln.”—Robbie (Rob Corddry)
The first thing to wrap your head around in the raunchy comedy “Sex Tape” is that the smoking hot Cameron Diaz, at 42 years old, is married to Jason Segel, who is 34 years old. The next is believing that they are so oblivious that they do not know how “the Cloud” works, the system where all your digital files are stored in which you can access them remotely from any device connected to that network or in which hackers can access to steal your naked photos which is much more believable and timely, but I digress. What is believable is that Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) are like most couples where they slowly, over time find themselves no longer having passionate sex. To turn this around, they send the kids off to grandma’s and land on the idea of making a sex tape with the terms including to immediately delete the tape afterward. What could go wrong, right?
To justify this stretch of a premise, the writers give Jay the occupation of radio DJ, touting his amazing playlists. Needing to keep up with new iPad technology, he gives his old ones out as gifts, which include said playlists for the recipients to enjoy, making the connection why people would even have access to his Cloud account. Of course, the sex tape does not get deleted and instead syncs to his Cloud account, showing up on every device given away, including one to Annie’s mother, Annie’s boss Hank (Rob Lowe), the couple’s best friends Robby (Rob Corddry) and Tess (Ellie Kemper), and even their creepy mailman. A great parody of this film could be done, seeing as most people would resort to calling customer service and having it removed, or navigating the FAQ section to a similar result. Instead, the haphazard couple sets out to destroy every device and, of course, this does not go smoothly.
Most often than not, raunchy comedies end up going for a PG-13 rating, when they should just bite the bullet and go full R rating. “Sex Tape” faces a much sadder outcome, as it is an R-rated comedy that feels more like a PG-13 film. When the main couple’s highlight antics include wrestling a dog and facing off with a not-so-intimidating Jack Black, one realizes that nothing can top the idea of the couple’s sex tape. In a possible spoiler, the film does deliver said sex tape in small portions at the end of the film and this reveals the reason for the rating. Obviously, I am not complaining, as an actual PG-13 version of this film would take away all the sexually explicit glimpses at the unquestionably attractive Cameron Diaz, but for the action antics of the film not to push boundaries leaves the audience wanting more. What amazes me most, to which I had a similar reaction to the film “Walk Of Shame,” is how a film starring such high profile actors such as Diaz and Segel could still feel like a straight-to-DVD affair. Perhaps if a raunchy comedy director like Todd Phillips were to have gotten his hands on this, it could have been something memorable and great, but instead, it will remain that little black smudge on the careers of everyone involved.
July 18, 2014
Sony Pictures Releasing
(for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use)