Mar 23, 2015

[Movies] Sex Tape (2014)

A lot of comedians get started with some pretty silly movies and TV shows. We have them getting into college-era antics like fraternity dares or silly pledges about losing their virginity. But everyone grows older and the nature of the movies that they can be successful in also changes, thus smoking hot girls stop appearing as cheerleaders and eventually start portraying mothers. It's just the natural march of time and all that jazz.

Sex Tape is has interesting premise on its own, but at the same time it sort of reflects this same trend of actors portraying more mature roles, in a manner of speaking. It's still a rather silly comedy that involves a strange situation and very uncomfortable situations. But in the then the entire premise pushes things well into the lives of married couples everywhere.

As much as the situation is rather strange, it's also fairly plausible and the writing around it really supports the whole idea. It has good comedic moments and I laughed a good number of times, but it also felt a little slightly off-kilter. Like a song with a note or two out of tune.

Synopsis: Sex Tape is a 2014 comedy movie directed by Jake Kasdan. The screenplay was written by Kate Angelo, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller.

Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) are already a happily married couple with two kids. Annie writes a blog about her parenting experience and the movie starts with a piece talking about how she and her husband had so much more sex in the years before they got married. Now sex seems like something that they struggle to schedule even if just on a weekly basis. So after getting family to watch the kids for the night, they try to rekindle that spark.

Their initial efforts sort of bomb out and eventually Annie comes up with the wild idea of creating a sex tape depicting them attempting all the positions in The Joy of Sex. After, the expectation is for Jay to delete the video, but he forgets to do so right away. And to make matters worse, he ends up syncing the video taken on their iPad with their cloud account, thus syncing it to a wide variety of iPads that the couple had given away over time with the "gift" of special playlists that Jay puts together. So now the couple are determined to get all the iPads back before their sex tape damages their reputations.

First up, I think there's a part of me that's not fully prepared to see these lead actors as parents. Call it silly denial based on past work, but I guess it's just a reminder of how much time has passed that even Segel and Diaz had to play parents trying to find that lost spark in their sex lives. It probably doesn't help that Segel clearly lost a lot of weight and thus doesn't have that same adorkable cuddly bear image that we've sort of gotten used to over the years. But  hey, people change.

I think the core premise was good enough while they were trying to get their hands on the various iPads. It was a little silly that a guy could sync files to the cloud and not know how to remote wipe data, but I suppose that;s forgivable. And it was a stupid enough premise needed to drive the whole madcap dash around town asking all their friends and colleagues what they were doing with the iPads.

But there were really weird moments in the story that clearly the writers wanted to throw in a wild, rather left field plot twist or two. But instead of it being rather clever or innovative, they just felt weird and out of place. Rob Lowe's character is practically bonkers and the scene at his house was just strange. Then there's the big twist involving one of the kids in the movie and I really didn't get how that was going to really work well with everything else. It felt like weak attempt to extend the story a little longer in order to give the movie a decent overall running time.

Thus the movie doesn't really become something truly amazing or remarkable. It's really just a decent level of entertaining with isolated bits that feel almost like random comedy sketches thrown into the mix of things with no true sense of rhyme or reason. You laugh here and there but mostly it's just a sort of weird moment of watching this couple go through a very weird night.

Sex Tape isn't necessarily a bad movie, but I guess it feels a bit more disappointing provided the typically great acting talent involved. They did the best with the roles, but for the most part the writing left a lot to be desired. Thus the movie gets 2 iPads loaded with music and homemade porn out of a possible 5.

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