Friday, February 6, 2015

Sex Tape Review

I Just Watched Sex Tape! (SEX!) It Wasn't That Goooo-ooood!!
I'm pretty the entire existence of Sex Tape came when Columbia Pictures executives were trying to pitch new projects for Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel to star in after the success of the 2011 comedy Bad Teacher. One of the ideas mentioned was "a comedy about a sex tape" and they worked backwards from that phrase to conjure up a story. That's my theory for this features origins, and I'm sticking to it. After all, this films slipshod quality does a fine job supporting my claims.

I'm actually kinda shocked that Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the writers responsible for my favorite movie of 2011, The Muppets, are the ones who wrote this middling claptrap, with Kate Angelo also getting credit on the film. They put such wit and charm into that 2011 outing that it's amazing to see what little effort goes into this venture, especially in the development of any sort of depth to these characters.  The two most prominent characters in the film are the two leads, Annie and Jay, a married couple played by Cameron Diaz and Segel respectively, who film a sex tape in order to add some spice to their humdrum marriage.

That raunchy footage soon gets synced up to a bunch of iPads that belong to their friends and neighbors, and they try to retrieve all the devices before everyone see's the tape. During that journey, Annie notes to Jay that this kind of crisis can help show who a person really is, which is true. The trouble is that this adventure proves that there's really nothing to this duo on any given basis, whether it be personality, humor or nuance. Now, to be fair, Annie does at first seems like a promising character. The opening scene of the movie has her reading aloud a passage of her blog chronicling her and Jay's romantic life in college, a well-worn trope for exposition, but one that does show her as a female character who actually has a sexual agency and isn't painted as an antagonist for having a sexual drive. That's pretty cool to see, but it doesn't excuse her and Segel's lack of chemistry, though that may be more down to Segal than anything else.

In that aforementioned scene where Annie notes about a crisis can "show who a person really is", she accuses Jay of always thinking about himself. I was sort of bewildered by that, since I hadn't seen that side from Jay at all. In fact, I hadn't seen even a hint of any kind of personality from Segel's character in the entire damn movie! His lack of discernible characteristics are only outmatched by the films surprising lack of laughs. Seriously, the first 25 or so minutes are almost devoid of even attempts at comedy, it's kind of bizarre.

The rest of the film mostly fails at getting successful gags going, save for Ellie Kemper and Rob Corddry as a couple who are best friends of  Annie and Jay. A bit where they pretend to to be collecting charity donations for a fictional city is pretty humorous, and Jack Black as a high-ranking fellow in the world of porn is similarly amusing. Those sporadic moments of effective gags can't make up for the middling entity that is Sex Tape, which, in it's feature-length incarnation, doesn't feel like it developed much from my theorized origins as six simple words.

No comments:

Post a Comment