Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sex Tape (2014)

Sex Tape (film).jpgTissues at the Ready

Director: Jake Kasdan
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Starring: Jason Segal, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe

Marriage in films tends to run through a lot of familiar material, with 'reigniting the spark' being a plot point which comes up time and time again. But how many of these films can you say tries to attempt this through the creation of a Sex Tape?

Jay (Segal) and Annie (Diaz) are that couple, who after getting married and having two kids, have found the spark in their sex life has disappeared. In an effort to reignite this, they make a sex tape, only to find it's been uploaded to the Cloud, and onto the iPads which Jay has given out to friends and family.

Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz do a good job with one another, making a likeable enough onscreen couple. Their reasoning for making the titular item is put across well, with the leads getting across well how they're trying to rediscover the magic that they began their relationship with. On their own, Segal gives a charismatic performance which steals the show, despite being relegated to running and injuring himself in multiple manners, while Diaz gives a more likeable performance than what was witnessed in The Other Woman.

The idea of an item as personal as a sex tape being viewed by those it wasn't intended for is all the more real in this updated, digital age we now live in. Jake Kasdan has the foundations to take a look into this, but instead chooses to have the couple go on a ridiculous journey to a couple of houses in order to singularly get rid of the tape, including breaking into private property and easily locating what they wanted to find without resistance. The script lazily treats logic and common sense as something which should not be adhered to, and as a result, makes the characters come off more as cartoonish buffoons.

Jay's unspecified job has him constantly using iPads to the point where he's regularly sent two new ones, but is portrayed as a bumbling buffoon who believes The Cloud to be an actual cloud, and cannot figure out how to delete a video from his account, or at the least how to Google it. Also, the actual sex tape in question is filmed on an iPad from one placement the entire time, but multiple angles and numerous close-ups are used in the actual tape, none of which match up from where the iPad was placed.

Jay and Annie begin their night

Considering this is a comedy film first and foremost, it makes sense that more time and effort would be put into ways to make the audience laugh. It's just a shame that the comedic efforts fall flat on their face. Jake Kasdan utilizes lazy attempts to generate laughs, most notably by needlessly inserting swear words into dialogue. He also lingers the camera on naked bodies and Rob Lowe's strange Disney paintings for so long, that it's clear they're intended to be the punchline to an unfunny joke. Numerous references are also made to Jay and Annie's Mailman, who's set up as the last person the couple wants to see their tape, but there lacks any sort of pay off to this.

Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper play Jay and Annie's friends, who amusingly get turned on by their friends sex tape, but are unfortunately wasted by how they are given next to nothing else to do. Jack Black makes a cameo, but the script does little to service him by making him and his cronies stand around and list porn sites. The film requires him to be the stranger who randomly comes in to give the main characters much needed advice in the form of heavy handed dialogue, as is the need for Rob Lowe, but the only impression Black leaves is a list of new porn sites that some viewers will have made mental notes to visit.

Sex Tape erects a solid emotional foundation with their lead couple, and their relatable attempts to capture the long lost spark in their relationship. Unfortunately, Jake Kasdan blows his load too soon, leaving things flaccid with a foray into a ridiculous "adventure", a lack of humorous jokes and a poor script. If anything, this is a 94 minute advert for both Apple and YouPorn.

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