Director: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe
We’re on the second of three Cameron Diaz movies slated for release this year following The Other Woman and the Annie remake which is set for a Christmas release. I am predicting right here and now that this will be the best one of the three. What does that say about her choice in film roles? For Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel), the peak of their sexual adventures occurred early on in their relationship. They were not afraid to have sex whenever and wherever they wanted. They had a few solid years of pretty hot and heavy action until she got pregnant. After having two kids, they fell into that trap like many parents where their sex drive became non-existent. Sure they think about it, but at the end of the day they are just too tired and exhausted. She’s a mommy blogger with a bit of an edge who has an opportunity to sell it to a larger website and make a load of money on it. He works at a radio station and takes his job of finding new music and creating playlists very seriously.
With Annie’s potential job offer, they decide to send the kids over to grandma’s house in order to have a wild night all to themselves. They come up with the grand idea to make a sex tape as a way of spicing things up. The next morning Annie demands that Jay delete the evidence of their three hour romp. We all know that doesn’t happen because we wouldn’t have the rest of the movie if he actually listened to his wife. Jay learns his lesson the hard way after receiving some anonymous text messages regarding the footage. He realizes the video was saved to the Apple cloud and accidentally synched to various iPads he has given out as gifts to friends and family. They team up with their friends Robby (Corddry) and Tess (Kemper) to track down those tablets and delete the video before the wrong eyes see it.
Sex Tape is a reunion for director Jake Kasdan, Cameron Diaz, and Jason Segel. You may remember they worked on 2011’s Bad Teacher, another rom com with a super creative title. Diaz and Segel have made multitudes of these kinds of movies, so you already know what you’re getting yourself into with this one. Even though Diaz has tried other material that is edgier and harder, this is her niche as these are the types of movies she does best. She gets to be wacky and kooky and be the comedic actress we as an audience have come to embrace. Sidekicks Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Way Way Back) and Ellie Kemper (Bridesmaids, The Office) have some of the best scene stealing moments. Leave it to both of them to amp up the humor in some of the more uncomfortable moments and make them hysterical. Rob Lowe plays a potential business backer for Diaz’s character. He starts off very much like his character on Parks and Recreation, but there are a few surprises in store for him. I feel he is the result of some stunt casting due to the fact that he actually made a sex tape that leaked in the ‘80s. If that’s the case, why didn’t they also get the likes of Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, or Paris Hilton? There’s no way a Kardashian would have turned down a chance to make money and be in the spotlight.
This is a short light fluffy 90 minute comedy, which is a bit of a rarity these days in this genre especially when you think of how long Jason Segel movies tend to be. The script was penned by Kate Angelo (The Back-Up Plan), but with Segel and Nicholas Stoller (The Five-Year Engagement) given co-writing credits. I think it’s safe to assume they did some heavy rewrites on the original draft. For a movie about a sex tape, I was surprised by how tame it was in its approach. Maybe I am just getting a bit desensitized in this day and age, but I feel like it really could have pushed the boundaries when it comes to the raunchy factor. Yes, we see the bare butts of Diaz and Segel and there is some talk about the various positions found in “The Joy of Sex”, but if you compare it to other comedies like this, it feels quite innocent. Maybe some moviegoers will appreciate the toned down approach knowing they chose not to go to the extremes, but I feel like it is actually warranted with this plot.
At the end of the day, Sex Tape achieves what it sets out to do. There are a decent amount of laughs to stay entertained and take your mind of a really crappy day at work. It’s a mindless light romp with a simple plot as it takes a look at what happens to some couples after many years of marriage and kids. Sometimes you just need to add a little spark back into the relationship, but it doesn’t always go to plan. I think there is something relatable there that I’m sure many moviegoers could attest to in some way or another.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? While it won’t be winning any awards anytime soon, it’s better than some of the other comedies released this summer.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS