“Jay” (Jason Segal) & “Annie” (Cameron Diaz) send their kids to grandma one night, then record themselves working their way thru all the moves in THE JOY OF SEX… only to realize in the morning that they have inadvertently uploaded their tape into cyberspace.
Rich only saw the crude in this, but Jan thought she detected some interesting Zeitgeist about living the digital life. (Note that Annie is a successful “Mommy Blogger,” so there is more than a little bit of Julie & Julia in her plot line.)
Jack Black is hilarious as a cucumber-cool Porn King, and young Harrison Holzer almost steals the show as a savvy tween geek whose knowledge of the cyberspace quickly turns menacing. (JLH: 3.5/5)
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Review of Sex Tape by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky
Sex Tape, the summer’s latest raunchy R-rated comedy from Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, and Nicholas Stoller, provides big laughs, occasional awkwardness, and feeble attempts to be sweet. The plot follows “Jay” (Jason Segel) and “Annie” (Cameron Diaz), a husband and wife who decide to make a sex tape on their iPad to escape their marital rut. When Jay fails to erase the three-hour-long video, it syncs to several iPads that he had previously given away as gifts.
A wild goose chase ensues, in which Jay and Annie’s panic causes them to search out every last iPad to erase the dirty video before their friends and family have a chance to see it. Called by Diaz “a grown-up Adventures in Babysitting,” the film was promoted as an all-night hunt for the sex tape. The manic chase for the iPads is somewhat anticlimactic, however, considering that a majority of the second act is spent in the home of “Hank” (Rob Lowe), a CEO who is considering making an important business deal with Annie. Between Annie’s cocaine-fuelled rants and Jay’s bloody encounter with Hank’s attack dog, the entire sequence sometimes feels as if it belongs to some other movie. Jay and Annie actually end up visiting only a few houses, where they spend far too much time telling the same joke.
Even though the plot in itself is bizarre, watching Jason Segel crack himself up while doing his typical, uncanny “shtick,” makes the film worthwhile. After nine years as Marshall Erikson on How I Met Your Mother, Segel relies on three methods of acting: the bumbling way he delivers a punch line, his uproarious singing, and his serious and lovable sincerity – all of which show up in Sex Tape.
The supporting cast, however, like “Robby” (Rob Corddry) and “Tess” (The Office’s Ellie Kemper), provides a handful of laughs but underutilizes their talents in the outlandish plot. Rob Lowe as the aforementioned business mogul is a character eerily – and annoyingly – similar to his portrayal of Chris Traeger on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. You get the feeling that Lowe thinks he’s being a lot funnier than he actually is – which, in a way, characterizes Sex Tape as a whole.
While offering big laughs at certain points, mostly thanks to Segel’s impeccable comic timing, the film’s plot holes (the impenetrability of “the cloud,” for example) are distracting. Some might argue this is to be expected in an R-rated comedy with Sex Tape as the title, so despite its overall silliness and occasional cringe-worthiness, the film actually has more substance than most 90-minute raunch-filled comedies. With lines like “maybe everybody has a double-sided dildo in their nightstand,” Angelo and company attempt to drive home the theme that everyone has a proverbial sex tape that they would prefer to keep hidden. Plot points aside, Sex Tape provides mindless laughter for a late night trip to the movies.
Review © Brigid K. Presecky (7/18/14)
Top Photo: Jason Segel as “Jay” and Cameron Diaz as “Annie.” Just a regular, happily-married couple!
Bottom Photo: Jack Black as a Porn King totally non-plussed by yet another couple desperately trying to get their tape back.
Photo Credits: Claire Floger
Q: Does Sex Tape pass the Bechdel Test?
No. Annie has no one-on-one conversations with other women about anything 🙁