Reviewed by Drew Ninnis
Director: Jake Kasdan
Screenplay: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller.
Runtime: 94 minutes
Cast: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper.
Trailer: “Don't even think about it.” (warning: good advice at the ticket stand)
Plot: After many years of marriage and two kids, Annie and Jay decide to spice up their bedroom gymnastics (sadly, literally) by making a sex tape. Forgetting to delete said sex tape, they embark on a quest to remove it from a series of devices it has accidentally been uploaded to, eventually having to break into a porn mega-server to prevent their secret from getting out. Along the way, they drag in a set of increasingly creepier characters into their deepening insanity.
Review: Oh boy, where to start, where to start? How about with a cutesy quip like “The biggest couples mistake isn’t making a sex tape, it’s seeing this film.” Or with my genuine emotional reaction to the film, which was – “Holy fuck Jason Segel, what did you do to your face? For the love of all that is good!” Or “fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck” – because, you see, Diaz and Segel finally got their swearing licence approved for this couples comedy, and ride those million unconvincing “fucks” all the way to the bank.
Sex Tape is a long, unending desert of comedy with the familiar sights you’d expect on the arduous crawl to your dehydrated death. The only blessed oasis is Jack Black’s appearance as the proprietor of the website youporn; constituting the only well written and competently performed element of the film (there's a great porn site name poetry slam, that hopefully is in clip form somewhere so you don't have to watch the whole film). Otherwise it’s an endless sea of recycled couples jokes (with a big dash of creepy), sight gag non-sequiturs, and odious product placements. That everyone made their money before the film hit the box office gives you an impression of how lazy this production is. To quote Al Madrigal quoting Christian Slater, from a recent Doug Loves Movies, “It’s what we call a cash grab.”
Events you will witness in this film, whether you want to or not, include:
- Dog almost beaten to death by Jason Segel;
- Unamusing cum faces;
- Diaz attempting a Triple-Twisting Yurchenko onto Segal’s penis;
- Rob Lowe doing coke;
- Rob Lowe’s face on a number of beloved Disney characters;
- Rob Lowe's tattoos;
- Rob Lowe collecting a paycheck;
- Many of your favourite comedians – from Rob Corddry to Kumail Nanjiani to Artemis Asteriadis – collecting a paycheck without being asked to be funny;
- Segel’s arse crack and pubic hair (multiple appearances), Diaz’s butt double;
Really, don’t bother. There is not much more to say, except don’t bother. And if you do bother, for the love of all that is holy don’t stay to see snippets of the titular sex tape at the close of the film. No one needs to hear or see Jason Segel singing the public domain classic ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ nude. I suppose they thought it funny because it has ‘Ball’ in the title.
[Side note: Have you ever noticed that as celebrities get older, they can stop all aging processes except their eyes sinking deeper and deader into their skull? I swear Diaz’s eyes were peering out from the bottom of the chasm from The Last Crusade. Please, Cameron, it is time to make that dignified Meryl Streep transition. Stop attempting college-age. And Segel’s botoxed face… my goodness. He looks like Glenn Howerton’s impression of a psychopath from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the next Muppets film, we won’t know whether he’s going to sing to them or wear their skin.]
Rating: One sex tape, no humour (excepting Jack Black).