Saturday, July 26, 2014

Movie Review: "Sex Tape" (2014)

Movie"Sex Tape"
Director: Jake Kasdan
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
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Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) have been together since college. The foundation of their relationship early on was their extremely active sex life. After two kids and at least a decade of marriage, they are in a physical rut. Based on a suggestion by Annie, the couple decides to make a sex tape during a night home alone, using "The Joy of Sex" as their guide. Jay forgets to delete the video off his Apple product, which is promptly synched with the cloud, inadvertently sharing it with everyone he has ever given an iPad to as a gift. Annie and Jay are determined to get back every last iPad and stop anyone from seeing their drunken night of fun.

Sitting in the theater as the credit were rolling provided me with one of those rare moments of clarity where I couldn't help but laugh once all is said and done. No, not for the obvious reason that this movie is a comedy because it's not funny, and we'll get into that soon. I found myself laughing, and this might sound dramatic, because I was reflecting upon the decline of cinema. And women in cinema. And relationships in cinema. And how these "comedies" manage to get so, so, so much about life wrong.

Buckle up, kids, this is going to be a lonnnng journey.

For a movie called "Sex Tape," it doesn't contain that much nudity. It's not like we expected to see a porno, but we have seen movies with much more tame titles feature a lot more of it. Any time sex is featured on screen, it is awkward and you don't feel remotely any chemistry between Diaz and Segel. Even when they were kissing "passionately," we might as well have been watching two fish making out. This absence of chemistry makes for a wholly unenjoyable experience when it is 100% centered around their relationship. There is no spark, no romance, no titillation whatsoever.

While we're on the subject of sex, let's just get these misconceptions straightened out right now: people who are married have sex. It doesn't stop when you put a ring on it. People in their 40's and older have sex. Mothers and fathers have sex. Sex is natural all the time!! One of the biggest issues we have with the portrayal of relationships in films today is that married people either stop having sex altogether or rarely if ever do it. This cliche is tired and basic. The foundation of many movies is built on the notion that pre-married couples have sex all the time, and in the case of the couple in this particular movie, perhaps even do so on an hourly or minutely basis. Once they get married and even more so when they have kids, Annie and Jay cease with sex almost entirely. Despite this fact, almost all of their conversations revolve around sex, from scheduling it, to the when they last had it, to the porn they watched alone. In fact, it seems that all this couple does is think and talk about sex. They might actually be the perfect candidates for sexaholics anonymous meetings.

This film is billed as a comedy as many often are. To say it is unfunny is giving it too much credit. BigJ didn't laugh one time throughout the movie, and the only time he cracked a smirk involved ridiculous paintings of Rob Lowe's face superimposed on Disney character's bodies in portraits around his house. In fact, Rob Lowe was probably the least unfunny part of this film (notice how we didn't say he was funny). Most of the comedy revolves around dropping F-bombs as descriptors for intercourse and awkward moments while Diaz and Segel are trying to be intimate. The rest is prodding from friends and situational conversations as a result of their sex tape getting leaked. Slapstick is the words we'd use to best describe most of the misfired jokes here, but that would be an insult to slapstick.

2014 features a double Diaz bomb-fest, the first being "The Other Woman." She was the "it girl" in the late 90's. Everywhere you looked, there was Cameron Diaz, featured in everything under the sun. We don't know if we've really enjoyed a Cameron Diaz comedy since "Shrek," and much to BigJ's dismay, I don't think this role counts since she only provides the voice for an animated character. She seems to be trying to rebuild her career into one centered around crude romantic comedies. It's like she's now the go-to woman for these parts, but the problem is she is awful in them and the movies themselves are equally terrible.

Furthermore, it's strange that a movie made by Sony Pictures would feature such heavy product placement for Apple. And we know what you're thinking, "Lolo and BigJ, you've seen so many movies up to this point that product placements are something you just notice now!" No, this is not the case. We only notice when it's that damn blatant. From the excessive use of iPads to the declaration of clearer pixel resolution, device durability after an iPad gets thrown out of a second story window, and multiple mentionings of the mp4 format, this was basically a full-length Apple commercial sprinkled with sex and sleazy. And for a main character who uses technology constantly in his job, you'd think he'd know a thing or two about remote wiping devices, or not needing 800 devices for anything ever, or the cloud in general. I say this knowing that, up until 2 months ago, I feared the cloud like no other. I am now an avid user of said cloud and am not worried about any synching mishaps. Why? BECAUSE I DELETE MY SEX TAPES...not that there are any...

The only good thing we can say about this movie is that it isn't too long and it's paced reasonably well, so at least it doesn't feel like the misery lasts longer than it should. And no, The Daily Beast, there is no defending Cameron Diaz at this point. She seemingly picks these movie roles time and time again, much in the same fashion as Melissa McCarthy, to no avail. While Diaz might be talented, she's not a good comedic actress, and that's okay, not everyone has to be good at everything. You either love her or you hate her, and strictly based on her last few movie roles, we're inclined to say the latter.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 20%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

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