Once in a while a film comes around that sets its sights on exploring something fundamental to human existence at one pivotal moment. A film that presents a cautionary tale that shakes the philosophical core of a generation. A film that whole-heartedly immerses itself in the journey to discover the answer to a ponderous question that plagues each and every one of us, especially in this digital age. The question: “What happens if my sex tape is accidentally uploaded to the public?”
Thankfully, director Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Orange County) has taken the challenge of answering this question with his new film, Sex Tape. Sex Tape finds married couple Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) in the clichéd marital funk that inevitably and cinematically arrives when kids are introduced into the relationship. Once erotically charged, Jay and Annie’s marriage has displaced its sexual component so much that they apparently don’t even know how to do it anymore! Naturally, the next logical step to rekindle that spark is to send the kids to grandma’s, dust off that copy of The Joy of Sex, set up the iPad, and record what happens. All is right with the world until the mysterious “Cloud” uploads Jay and Annie’s “sex tape” to all of Jay’s devices including the ones gifted to their best friends Robby and Tess (Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper), Annie’s hopeful new employer Hank (Rob Lowe), and even the mailman. Now, with the clock ticking on the decimation of their reputations, Jay and Annie begin a city-wide quest to recover the iPads before their tape is viewed and their lives are screwed.
Now if you can’t tell from the tone of this review, the worst thing you can do with Sex Tape is take it too seriously. The set up to the film is breezy and enjoyable, as is the film’s second act where Jay and Annie recruit Robby and Tess to help them. The film does hit some snags in the third act where the ridiculousness quotient is pushed to the limits and the movie loses some of its zeal. Also unfortunate is that Sex Tape now joins the crowded subsection of films that include a snooping character who is suddenly pursued by the homeowner’s dog, culminating in a fall out of a second story window.
These faults aside, Sex Tape has some good laughs and Diaz and Segel commit, no doubt about that! Also, Lowe, Corddry and Kemper are always fun to see and are welcome inclusions to this cast. On the most part, Sex Tape is funny, but for a supposedly adult comedy about a very adult subject, it feels more childish and goofy than it ought to, especially that third act (perhaps a result of being written by two of the writers of The Muppets). Nonetheless, Sex Tape has its heart, among other body parts, in the right place. B
Sex Tape is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 34 minutes.