UK Release Date: 3rd September 2014
Runtime: 94 minutes
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, Kate Angelo
Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Nat Faxon, Jack Black
Synopsis: A couple who record a personal sex tape must remove it from a series of devices when it is uploaded to the Cloud.
In the wake of the terrible invasion of celebrity’s privacy known as “The Fappening”, the Cloud is all over the news. This leant a bizarre topicality to bawdy comedy Sex Tape. Unfortunately, in its strive for techie relevance – Romcom 2.0 – it appears to have forgotten to be funny.
Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) have found that being parents has killed their sex life. They decide to record a sex tape, but it is inadvertently uploaded to the Cloud. With the help of friends Robby (Rob Corddry) and Tess (Ellie Kemper), they spend a night trying to get the devices back, before ending up at the offices of YouPorn and its owner (Jack Black).
Given the wealth of comedic talent involved, Sex Tape should have been an open goal of a movie. Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are both reliable comic performers and writer Nicholas Stoller had a hand, with Segel, in the script for the fantastic reboot of The Muppets in 2012. Despite all of this talent, Sex Tape fails on just about every level.
| "That’s the length of the movie ‘Lincoln’. You did the full ‘Lincoln’."
Segel and Diaz are both committed in their performances, but the material they are working with is simply not up to scratch. There are one or two laughs, but they were all spoiled in the trailer, rendering them more or less ineffective in the final film.
It isn’t helped by the fact that the entire premise of Sex Tape renders the characters thoroughly unlikeable. The moment Segel reveals that he hands out iPads as gifts willy-nilly, it becomes impossible to sympathise with him at all. By the time his dialogue becomes depressingly similar to an advertising blurb for Apple, it’s difficult to care what happens to him at all.
Everyone involved does their best to rescue the film, but it’s all to no avail. Rob Lowe is completely wasted in a thankless cameo as a businessman with a bizarre penchant for heavy metal music and cocaine. Even Jack Black’s appearance as the foul-mouthed owner of YouPorn fails to elevate the film beyond the cesspool in which it resides.
| "Nobody understands the Cloud. It’s a fucking mystery."
The central crime of Sex Tape, though, is that it simply isn’t funny enough and completely lacks the comedic edge its title would suggest. It plays everything extraordinarily safe, refusing to even toy with the idea of pushing boundaries.
There is an enormous clash between its bawdy premise and the infuriatingly coy way it deals with the subject matter. Chaucer would be very disappointed.
Pop or Poop?
Without a funny script, Sex Tape was doomed to fail. The few gags that do raise a laugh were so thoroughly spoiled in the promotional material that they have no real impact.
Segel and Diaz give committed, if hollow, performances and even the seasoned talents of Lowe and Black can’t save this tepid waste of time.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.