For a comedy, the premise is hardly important. The story they had going in Neighbors was ridiculous – a frat house moves next to a couple with a new baby – and all hell breaks lose. Yet that movie showed a couple that was a bit bored in the bedroom, and they explored some funny territory with it. In Sex Tape, they start with a premise that could be hysterical. A bored couple decides to spruce things up by putting on roller skates and making a sex tape, covering every position in The Joy of Sex. Of course, the guy thinks he’s deleting the email, but it gets sent out to friends he’s given ipads to. The rest of the movie is him going to each person and the hijinx that ensue while trying to retrieve them. Had there been good jokes written, that’s fine. Instead, I was thinking of scenarios that would’ve been more interesting. Perhaps the video going out online, and other couples coming to them for advice; or their sex life improving because of all the others that have this admiration for them. Instead, it’s just Jason Segel making more of those dopey faces, and Cameron Diaz trying to act. Hey…wait a second. Wasn’t Segel’s last movie with Muppets? Isn’t there some clause in the Muppet contract that keeps him from doing things like this? Anyway…Segel wrote the screenplay with two others. They share the blame with director Jake Kasdan. He was able to get a few laughs out of Segel and Diaz in Bad Teacher, but this movie had only two interesting moments. One of them involve Rob Lowe. Remember, he was one of the first to have a sex tape get out (back before online changed how sex tapes are viewed). He’s the future boss of Diaz, who when he isn’t in the office spouting off about family values, goes home and listens to heavy metal and does lines of coke.
The other scene is a clever cameo where a guy owns a big porn company. That’s mildly amusing, and goes in a different direction then you anticipate. The rest of it is garbage. It’s a shame because Rob Corddry always cracks me up in movies, and he only made me laugh once in this. It’s a scene shown in the commercials (of course), where he talks about how they went at it for three hours. He says, “Lincoln was three hours long. You guys did the full Lincoln!”
It’s strange because, I don’t mind the premise of how the video gets out there being the least bit believable; yet when a kid tries black mailing them, that’s where I really checked out. It made no sense. Again, none of that matters if it’s funny. This wasn’t.
The word that comes to mind when watching this is “lazy.” Everything about the screenplay was lazy writing. For example, Lowe’s house is filled with artwork of his face painted into various scenes. There’s a Lion King and a few other Disney paintings. That’s been done better in other films (Jemaine Clement in Dinner for Schmucks comes to mind).
A German Shepherd that Segel is being attacked by is not only funny, but has been done a million times. Perhaps they didn’t see how funny the dog attack was in Cameron Diaz’ hysterical There’s Something About Mary.
And when I’m willing to suspend disbelief for a film that’s going to be a wacky comedy – not only are they not bringing the funny, but they give you scenarios where a normal couple starts breaking the law in weird ways. Driving a car into a building to break down a door and retrieve a sex tape. Seriously? They didn’t think alarms would go off, or that there weren’t security cameras around?
The couple also fights constantly and truth be told, I was just hoping they’d get divorced and move on to a different movie. They look as tired trying to get laughs with this lame material as we all felt watching it. Look, I wasn’t a fan of Date Night, but at least you enjoyed spending time with Tina Fey and Steve Carell and could see why they were together. It had enough laughs to keep you interested, and when they did a cameo (Mark Wahlberg as the ex-boyfriend that never wears shirts), it made you smile. This movie thinks they can just do scenes that have been done before and milk laughs from it. For example, remember how funny the closing of The Hangover was when we finally got to see the photos of what actually happened that night? Well, this movie closes by showing us what was actually on the tape. That contained very few laughs. Yet you could’ve guessed in the beginning this movie would be bad, by how poorly the opening was done. It shows a couple that’s young and in love, and having sex everywhere they go. This includes knocking books of the shelf in the library. Not a single thing funny (or remotely realistic) about that montage.
This gets 1 star out of 5.