Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 17, 2014


Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:33 pm

October 17, 2014

Cast: Jason Segal, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper

Director: Jake Kasdan

Only weeks ago a bunch of female celebrities, including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, woke up to discover that their phones had been hacked and their most private pictures leaked on the Internet. Not surprisingly, a common reaction from those who commented on the incident went something like this: “Don’t want your naked pictures on the Internet? Don’t take naked pictures of yourself!” I remember thinking, “How insensitive!” Those girls hadn’t intended for their pictures to go viral. They were victims of privacy invasion and theft.

I feel less kindly towards the protagonists of Sex Tape however, although they find themselves in a similar sort of pickle when footage of them having sex goes public. Because, let’s face it, if they hadn’t made the video we wouldn’t have to suffer this film! Yes, it’s that awful. Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz play Jay and Annie, a suburban couple so exhausted from raising two young kids, they’ve lost their passion in the bedroom. To spice things up again, they decide to film themselves trying every position in that popular tome, The Joy of Sex. When the video accidentally syncs to all the used iPads Jay has given away as gifts, the couple sets off on an all-night tablet-retrieval mission that isn’t nearly as funny as it should’ve been.

Director Jake Kasdan mostly relies on lazy slapstick humor to coax a few laughs out of this thin premise, but the gags feel stale and overdone. Jay’s encounter with a stubborn dog comes off repetitive and endless, and a climax that tries to ask deeper questions about why people make sex tapes belongs in a different film. The only genuinely funny portion involves Annie having to do cocaine with her seemingly straitlaced prospective boss (Rob Lowe).

The problem with Sex Tape is that it’s neither particularly funny nor raunchy enough to satisfy anyone seeking any of these things. What it is, unfortunately, is a shameless and relentless promotional reel for Apple products. After a while you lose count of how just many times they reference the iPad, the iCloud, and Siri.

Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz who made for a charming double act in Bad Teacher (which Kasdan directed) can’t quite make this flaccid script work, although Diaz in particular really works those comic chops. At 94 minutes the film still feels overlong and unnecessary, never even delivering the cheap thrills promised in its title.

I’m going with a generous one out of five for Sex Tape. Not tonight, honey; this’ll give you a headache.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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