Sex Tape was directed by Jake Kasdan who was previously best known for Bad Teacher (2011). The two stars are Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel who also received a credit for helping to write the screenplay. The film follows the story of Annie and Jay who meet at College before deciding to get married when Annie discovers that she is pregnant.
Annie writes a successful Internet blog about motherhood while Jay appears to be in the music industry but it’s not entirely clear to me what he does. The couple discover that having a family is so demanding they have no time to enjoy sex anymore and so one night Annie decides to pack the kids off to grandma so she can enjoy a night of passion with the other half. To spice things up they decide to make a sex tape based on ‘The Joy of Sex’.
Annie decides that they should erase the video but Jay forgets (or perhaps not) to carry out her instruction and accidentally syncs the video to a number of iPads which he has handed out as presents because he doesn’t need them anymore. The situation is complicated by the fact that Annie is close to selling her blog to the family orientated Piper Brothers company and Jay is receiving mysterious texts from someone claiming to have a copy of the video. They decide that the various copies of the video must be tracked down and destroyed.
The first act of this film is terrible. It’s appalling and without doubt the worst example of cinema I have seen this year. It is used as an excuse to feature numerous scenes of nudity and quite graphic sex in what I presume is an attempt by the film makers to drum up some attention at the box office. There are numerous subtle references in the dialogue and the actions of characters to sex all the way through the film. The worst example is the way in which a family friend is bouncing a baby up and down in an attempt to keep it quiet. It’s an unbelievable few seconds of film and I wish I was making it up.
If this had been maintained for the entire film Sex Tape would have gone straight to the top of the list of worst films of 2014. Fortunately as Annie and Jay go on the road to track down the various iPad devices everything improves and I think I chuckled a few times. There is a funny segment as they arrive at the house of Hank Rosenbaum (Rob Lowe), a key executive at Piper Brothers, as Annie distracts him while Jay is forced to confront a dog in his search for the Apple device. The final two minutes is extremely funny as a stunt double for Cameron Diaz performs what can only described as an intimate acrobatic vault.
The product placement for Apple is in your face and to be fair the film handles it in a very tongue-in-cheek way. At one point Jay describes all of the excellent new features of the new iPad and then comments on its excellent construction after throwing it out of a window to find it undamaged.
This is the second iffy R rated film (15 in the UK) I watched this week following on from Let’s Be Cops which I will be reviewing next. It’s been a rough week. It’s a pretty thin premise that they try to spice up unnecessarily. The fun bit of the film was the search for the iPads with the compromising video but this second act was too short. Too much emphasis was given to the film waving its hands in the air shouting look everybody, come and see Cameron Diaz naked. Please. We’re all a bit more grown up than that.