Plot: A married couple try to spice up their sex lives by making a sex tape for fun. When the video accidentally gets sent to friends and family, the couple race around to delete it from everyone’s iPads.
When the first five minutes of your movie is Cameron Diaz’s character whining on her blog called “Who’s Yo Momma” about how much fun sex used to be between her and her husband (Jason Segel), my interest in this movie plummeted. That remained through out the entire 90 minute runtime. I didn’t care about any of these people, nor did I get one laugh out loud moment. This film is just a big nothing, and that’s really the best way to describe it.
This is from the director (Jake Kasdan) of Bad Teacher, a film I actually did like, and which showed good chemistry between Segel and Diaz. They have absolutely no chemistry here though, and for a movie about marriage and sex, that’s kind of important. Jason Segel falls into that Seth Rogen category for me. Someone needs to do a power point presentation of why this guy is considered funny. I don’t get it. Even though it wouldn’t have been as believable or appealing to the eye for the type of film that was being made, had Jonah Hill been in Segel’s role, this could have been worlds better. That’s an actor who can elevate unfunny material. If you give unfunny material to Jason Segel, it will remain unfunny.
Watching Cameron Diaz in this movie frustrates me. It really does. I think she’s talented and funny. I really do. But for crying out loud, learn how to pick a half way decent project! Why is she always in the worst movies imaginable? And before you jump all over me and say how many more movies does it take to convince you she sucks, let’s look at Matthew McConaughey. How many atrocious movies was he in where we all thought he sucked? And unlike Jason Segel, Diaz elevates her character to being passable. If Katherine Heigl or Leslie Mann played her role, this could have been the worst movie of the year.
I also like a lot of the supporting actors they got, which makes it all the more irritating to watch. I’m a huge fan of Rob Corddry, but they give him absolutely nothing to work with. It pisses me off that the Seth Rogens and James Francos of the world get parts left and right, but Corddry gets diddly-squat. The actress who plays his wife (Ellie Kemper) is also likable, but again, no material whatsoever. The one actor who they do give a lot of comedy to is Rob Lowe, but this is where a lot of my problems with the movie come into play.
I like Rob Lowe a lot, who doesn’t? He’s even mildly amusing in this garbage. But the type of jokes they give him is the laziest form of comedy you can think of. It’s all ridiculous random shock value. Oh, you think he’s this wholesome guy, but what happens if we do this! “Hilarity” ensues! How about if we have paintings throughout his elaborate mansion where his head is superimposed on Disney characters? It’s his head on Disney characters! Isn’t that funny? No, it’s just random shock that has no clever set up whatsoever. It’s like those jerks who killed the spoof movie with all those Date Movie films where they just have random pop culture references. Where’s the joke? It’s just a random reference.
The big Rob Lowe scene in the middle of the film is also just in bad taste. I’m all for pushing the limits. Seth MacFarlane does that a lot, and if it’s funny and done right, I’m all for it. But when it’s not funny like in Sex Tape, it’s in bad taste. The scene in question involves a certain drug, and it’s so uncomfortable, that any chance of it being funny goes right out the window. Not only that, but they draw it out forever, making it worse by the minute. There are plenty of awkward sequences like this throughout the film, including one towards the end involving their kids. Ironically, none of the awkward moments involve sex. Those scenes are simply not funny.
The one character I did get some chuckles from was the fifth grade son of the main couple’s best friends. Harrison Holzer as Howard has some real good delivery, and was the one shining moment in this otherwise pointless movie. Speaking of pointless, there is a completely useless cameo towards the end who tries to deliver the moral of the story. Talk about an actor who probably showed up on set one day to collect a pay check. Wow, did he not care.
I appreciate some of the actors trying to rub sticks together to make a fire, but there’s nothing here. For a ninety minute film, it’s paced really slow with long drawn out mumbled dialogue scenes. The humor is just pathetic and out dated. Really, jokes about how the story in porn sucks, and complaining about kids getting a graduation ceremony for every grade they pass. Give me a break. Let’s also not forget the formulaic cute kids doing weird things, but aren’t they cute. We get plenty of that, so don’t worry. By the second half, I was completely tuned out. This is just another lazy forgettable comedy like so many others, nothing more/nothing less.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10 (Bad)
image credit: sony pictures
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.