I have seen several ads for this movie that tout it as “the perfect date movie”. Well, someone let me know if you saw it on a date, and if it was the perfect date movie – or if it just made you promise to never film yourselves having sex. The movie is directed by Jake Kasdan, who has also done Bad Teacher (which featured the two leads of this movie), and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Sex Tape was written by Jason Segel with assistance by Kate Angleo and functions as a romantic comedy of a different kind.
Jay and Annie are a married couple with two children who are stuck in a bit of a rut. The rut confuses them, because when they were dating, they used to screw all the time – everywhere. Seriously – there is a montage of them having sex all over their college campus, from the dorm room to the ‘quad’ to the library. Once they got married and had kids, that all changed, and they have been trying to ‘schedule’ in time to be intimate. Annie’s motherhood blog is about to be picked up by a company that makes baby items, and they are focused on a clean and positive image. She’s thrilled, and to celebrate, she and Jay schedule a night with the kids at her parents’ house to have sex. However, they struggle to get going. She suggests they film themselves having sex in every position listed in the classic “Joy of Sex” book. Jay has just received a brand new iPad from his job (what he does is not clear, cataloguing music for a radio station? but what is clear is that he gets a new iPad every few months, then gives the old ones away as gifts). They use the brand new iPad to record their three hour session of fun, and agree to delete the video.
However, Jay’s software on all the iPads has the ability to sync every time he uploads. He didn’t delete the video, and it syncs to all the iPads he’s given away. He realizes this after receiving texts from a mystery number congratulating him on the tape. Annie then panics because she realizes her presentation for the new boss was on one of the iPads and that he now has a copy as well. What follows is one long night of adventures as the pair try to get back the iPads given out, discover who is texting them, and finally remove the video from the ‘cloud’.
It is a fun gimmick to have the events all take place in a short time, the majority of the action takes place in one night. The movie had the potential to be hilarious, and certainly has the right cast.
- Jason Segel plays Jay, and his character here does some to be an adult version of the character he played in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He’s funny, but honestly, I did feel a bit like the whole movie was a bit “held back”. You already have the R rating, just cut loose.
- Cameron Diaz plays Annie, and it helps to remember that she is really strongest in oddball comedies. She’s better in this than she has been in some time – she’s always willing to go just a bit too far for a joke, and that plays well in this movie.
- Rob Corddry and Ellie Kempler play their neighbors and best friends Robbie and Tess. They are the first place that Jay and Annie head after figuring out what happened, and they quickly enlist Robbie and Tess to help. Both Corddry and Kempler are hilarious, and I almost wish there was a little more of them in this movie.
- Rob Lowe plays a version of Chris from Parks and Rec as Hank, the CEO of the baby company that Annie is going to work with. She is so concerned about meeting his expectations of family values that she and Jay head to his house to get the iPad she gave to him, however he is spending the night alone, and quickly talks her into doing cocaine with him while Jay searches the house for the iPad and ends up mauled by the German Shepard. Also – there’s an odd side bit that he’s obsessed with Disney movies that literally goes nowhere. It only plays as a visual joke in the paintings he had around the house, but maybe that was the point.
- Nancy Lenehan plays Linda, Annie’s mother who shows up to watch the kids.
- Harrison Holzer plays Robbie and Tess’s son Howard, who – spoiler alert – turns out to be the mysterious text message sender, and eventual blackmailer. The resolution to that piece of trouble was sudden and unexpected, but I suppose it worked for the movie.
That’s about it, the cast is really small, and while the commercials made it look like the couple goes on an insane adventure to chase down all the copies of the tape, they really only go to Robbie and Tess’s, then to Hank’s, then eventually to the server room of an online porn company. It certainly is plenty of locations, just seemed to not be what was advertised. The movie is certainly funny, but again, it does not go fully into slapstick comedy, which was certainly a possibility given the story. There is some heart to it, and the story concludes with Annie and Jay realizing why they love each other in the first place, and figuring out why they had lost sight of that. All the really funny parts have been in the commercials, which is always a problem with a comedy, but it’s still pretty entertaining.
6 out of 10 – Gained points for Rob Lowe, but lost points for the weird Disney thing that never really got explained or used. Gained points for the hilarious scenes with Robbie and Tess, but lost points for spending way too much time on Jay searching for the iPad in Hank’s house while being attacked by the dog and Annie does cocaine. Gained points for the Jack Black cameo – lost points for him being the ‘voice of reason’.
Bonus video 1: Bad Teacher – the previous Jake Kasdan movie featuring Segel and Diaz. It had some terrible reviews, and I have never seen it – so I can’t give you my opinion. I’m just reminding you it exists.
Bonus video 2: Forgetting Sarah Marshall – this however, I can give you my opinion on, genius, funny, and also sweet and charming.
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews