“People were furrier in the 70’s” says Annie to husband Jay in reviewing the sexual acts illustrated in the Joy of Sex before making their own “Sex Tape.”
Directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Jason Segel, Kate Angelo and Nicholas Stoller, “Sex Tape” is a genial rom-com about the struggle to get the “oomph” back into a marriage after having children and more than ten years of living together. To be honest, as a straight woman, I have a hard time believing that if the woman looked like Cameron Diaz, maintaining “oomph” would be terribly difficult. That said, however, part of what going to the movies entails is the suspension of disbelief, and so, suspend away I will.
Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) are a married couple with two children and they both have very busy lives. Annie is a successful blogger who is on the verge of selling her blog to a large corporation and Jay works at a radio station. As “Sex Tape” shows in flashbacks, they once had a fulfilling sex life and after ten years still love another very much. But the sexual part of their relationship seems to have evaporated. To bring back the spark, they decide to make a tape performing all of the acts shown in the Joy of Sex book in one session. That seems to do the trick for them, but if you’ve seen the previews you know the tape, instead of being erased as Jay promised to do, accidentally goes viral. The remainder of the movie is spent with the couple trying to destroy copies and getting the recording “off the cloud”…with hilarity ensuing. Truth be told, there are genuine laugh out loud moments and some witty dialogue. Additionally Diaz and Segel have very good chemistry and work well together. But somehow “Sex Tape” just isn’t as good as it might be.
Cameron Diaz successfully gives it her all, but one longs to see her do something truly worthy of her talent. When she’s challenged she can rise to the occasion, doing comedy and drama quite well. Jason Segel, looking shockingly thin, is a talented comedic actor and is very good as the doltish husband. His funniest scenes are with a psychotic dog and with the young son of his best friend, Robby (Rob Corddry).
The supporting cast is very strong beginning with comedic vets Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper as the couple’s friends, who have some very amusing moments. Rob Lowe, as Hank, the owner of the company to whom Annie hopes to sell her blog, is absolutely terrific. His Jekyll/Hyde personality is unexpected and very funny and the scenes in his home (which might be the largest home in movie history given the exceedingly long chase scene) with his insane dog are outrageous. And in Harrison Holzer we have yet another amazing child actor who dominates the screen…in a good way…every time he makes an appearance. Finally, there is a wonderful cameo by someone who shall go nameless.
“Sex Tape” is not a comedy that will stick with you, but while you are in the theatre, it does have some fun moments.