<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Elli Kemper, Rob Lowe, Harrison Holzer
Horrible, terrible reviews for this film but I thought the trailer seemed funny. Unfortunately, the film is pretty bad on every level. The DVD extras don’t make it any better.
Sex Tape is a distinctly adult film. From the nudity to the wanton talk about penises and vaginas it has all the elements meant to lure an audience in (all scenes included on the DVD as well). It also has the comedic talents of actors like Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz to bring in the laughs. But both the sex and the comedy fail miserably in Sex Tape. There were points I zoned out and started reading my email or just walked around my room mindlessly since I had lost interest in the film. Something that almost never happens. Since a film will evoke some response from me: ‘hate’, ‘distaste’, ‘love’, ‘wow that’s awesome’.
Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) used to have lots of sex in high school and college as we are shown a montage of them fucking in their dorm room, in the car, on the campus and a variety of other places. All totally sexless and cheesy by the way. In fact, Jason Segel’s expressions throughout the film are so dull and irritatingly out of it that you wonder what the hell he was thinking. Sure he’s lost a lot of weight for the role but I think he lost his comedic bent of mind in the process.
After marriage and two kids, Jay and Annie lose their sex drive and appointments to have sex fail miserably. Until of course Annie decides to dress up as a sexy roller skater and eventually thinks up the idea to film themselves on their iPad having sex in all the positions from the book The Joy Of Sex. I must say that Cameron Diaz looks awesomely sexy in her see-through white blouse and red-orange panties and roller skates. And she’s the only actor who seems to be giving it her all in the film.
So the Sex Tape gets out since Jay, who does something in the music business, has synched up his iPad with his other Apple products but worse still his older iPads that he’s gifted away to the mailman and some of his friends. This in itself is a strange premise that is conveniently placed to further the non-existent plot. So Jay is super techy when it comes to synching his devices but doesn’t know he can erase the sex tape so that it’s deleted from all those other iPads as well! Now they both have to run around to recover the gifted iPads so that the sex tape doesn’t go viral. But they may be too late.
A reviewer online made a good point about this Sony film: that it espouses the use of Apple products. In spite of the synching goof, Jay is still a big user of Apple devices. There’s a whole scene where they chuck an iPad out of their son’s room and he retrieves it undamaged and then extols the virtues of their endurance.
Annie, who has a blog about motherhood, is being courted by a children’s product company headed by Hank Rosenbaum (Rob Lowe) who wants everything to be kid-friendly. But Annie handed him an iPad with her presentation on it and now they have to get it back from him. Strange that she would do that. Wouldn’t emailing it have been better? Or maybe a pen drive or a hard drive? But then that whole silly scene at Hank’s house involving Annie and Hank doing lines of cocaine and Jay being chased by a German Shepherd dog would not have been possible.
In all this their friends Robby (Rob Corddry) and Tess (Ellie Kemper) play the voyeuristic couple who want to help out but can’t resist sneaking a peek at the sex tape, which then fuels their fantasies. But it’s totally not sexy or funny.
By the end of it all you’re so irritated by this pointless exercise you wonder if it shouldn’t have been called Torture Tape instead. Even the appearance of Jack Black as the owner of YouPorn doesn’t elicit any laughter.
Sex Tape looks cheap, unprofessional and poorly directed. The special features aren’t much better.
PS: Do Americans still use the word ‘tape’ in this age of files, downloads and folders!! Seriously dark ages dude!
There are two special features on this DVD.
1) Capturing the moment
The filmmakers talk about getting Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel back in a film together after their much better movie Bad Teacher. There’s talk of their comedic chemistry and how the actors performed naked during the filming of the ‘sex tape’.
They laugh a lot on set but it’s a pity the audience doesn’t get to laugh watching the film!
2) Meet Hank Rosenbaum
Since the character of Hank Rosenbaum is the only one with an interesting little dark twist to him they’ve made this segment on his character talking about the ‘commissioned’ paintings of him in his house. One has his face painted on to Rafiki (from the movie The Lion King) as he presents Simba to the other creatures of the jungle. It’s actually a funny little feature but doesn’t make up for the movie’s failings.
DVD Courtesy Sony DADC Rs 599/-