Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Written by: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 34 min
If the Oxford dictionary were looking to update their definition of the word, contrived, they could just refer people to the movie Sex Tape. The actual definition at the moment is as follows: having an unnatural or false appearance or quality. This word perfectly describes this movie and everything from the set up, to the act of making the sex ‘tape’ and how the aftermath is dealt with, are manufactured in just the wrong way to make this movie a real chore to watch.
The first contrivance occurs early on when we learn Jay (Jason Segel) likes to give away his old iPads without wiping them. Which makes Jay a generous idiot! Sure you can have my old device, I’ll even leave all my content on there and access to my iTunes account. Urg, eye-roll, facepalm! Who would do that? Answer: nobody!
Another scene has Jay and Annie (Cameron Diaz) visit her future boss’s house to retrieve an iPad she gave him which holds her blog presentation. I guess you could just ask for the iPad back and claim you wanted to make adjustments to your presentation, and then quickly delete the offending video. Or you could make up some bullshit about collecting money for charity, food poisoning, epilepsy and diarrhea. Guess which route this film took?
The whole movie is loaded with scenes like this. Unnatural situations and reactions that become the catalyst for even more contrived attempts at humor. It all felt forced, and required our lead characters to act like idiots in order to keep fueling the story.
Sex Tape could also be accused of being a 94 minute advertisement for Apple’s iPad. Product placement in movies is nothing new, but here it’s taken to a new extreme, with characters talking about technical specs and even admiring the build quality of the device. This isn’t even done in a fun self-aware way for comic effect. It’s just blatant advertising, which you have to buy a movie ticket to watch!
This movie earns the R rating through its subject matter and some nudity, but it never gets too raunchy or explicit. If watching morons do moronic things makes you laugh, then you might get some enjoyment out of this. In the theater I visited, I ended up near two older ladies (late 50’s, early 60’s maybe) who seemed to really enjoy this movie.
There’s nothing especially visual about this film so a regular DVD rental or streaming show on your TV, laptop, tablet or phone will service this film well enough.
The blatant Apple product placement.