July 28, 2014

Movie Review: Sex Tape

Sex Tape was the second of two movies I watched last weekend based on an utterly ridiculous concept. The difference being, I really liked what the other one did with it (Lucy). Yes, it is based on a long since debunked myth, but it was still interesting as a look into human potential. Now there is this thing. Somehow I failed to realize just how ludicrous an idea it really is. Sure, it looks like a fun high concept to base a movie on, but the execution is so bland and lackluster that the whole thing feels wasted. I actually think that is a shame, I think this idea could have been used to much better effect.

The movie begins with Annie (Cameron Diaz) delivering voice over talking about the first time you saw your boyfriend naked, proceeding to discuss the amorous nature of young love, ending with wondering how to get it back after years of marriage and parenthood. This leads to the reveal that she is a popular mommy blogger who may be on the verge of selling her blog to some family company. We also learn that she and her husband, Jay (Jason Segel), are not often intimate.

So, with the setup out of the way, we get to the meat of the tale. In an effort to try and bring excitement back to their intimate life, Annie suggests they record their lovemaking. They also decide to make it something of an instructional video covering the contents of "The Joys of Sex". So, they record it, but then instead of deleting it, it gets uploaded and synced to a number of devices. This is where things get a little hairy.

This is where the concept gets in way of reality and the two clash. Jay apparently gets lots of replacement iPads, to which he syncs playlists of new and old stuff and are quite liked by everyone (he runs a recording studio, I think). So, when he gets new ones, he gifts the old ones to friends, family, and colleagues, gifting them the sought after playlists. He then uses an app to sync updated lists to all devices. Do you see where this is going? It syncs the sex tape to all of these devices, let the fun begin.

This is pretty ridiculous, if you ask me. The idea of giving someone an unwiped iPad is silly. For one, they would not be able to ever sync their own stuff to it, it will be password protected to the original owner, and would open the original owner up to some serious issues. Besides that, none are on the same wifi network, making the sync unlikely to happen. Then, you could just delete it and resync all the devices. The technology side of this is just not well thought out.

Once you get past the technology issue, you will find a movie that could have been an interesting and funny look at folks looking to recapture the intimacy of youth. Yes, I know that is what this is about, but the execution is completely bland and never feels genuine. It just sort of lumbers along, content to play the joke of people seeing the sex tape more than dealing with the people involved. It is a one note joke that never goes anywhere.

There were two things I can say I liked. The first is the role Rob Lowe plays, a stair laced, family oriented individual revealed to have some serious issues and a curious way of unwinding. Now, while I did like it, it felt like a SNL skit slapped in the middle of everything. The other thing I liked was a surprise cameo at the computer server facility, it is here that the movie gets is closest to emotional honesty. Sadly, the moment is fleeting and is the exception and not the rule of what this movie is concerned with.

Like I have said, this movie is bland, boring, and wholly unexceptional. Also, for an R-rated movie about a sex tape, it is surprisingly chaste. It certainly is an R film, but that is more for everyone dropping F-bombs more than anything else. It seems to not want o offend anyone. Geez, offend away, it would have helped the movie to add a little more spice to it, perhaps even pushing it into some more interesting territory. I suspect you would be better off watching Judd Apatow's This is 40.

Not Recommended.

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