Review: Sex Tape less than satisfying
SEX TAPE (R16)
Directed by Jake Kasdan
After a strong, attention grabbing opening, this rekindling-the-romance comedy all gets rather flaccid, resulting in a less than satisfying experience.
Initially seeming like an edgier, crasser version of This is 40 (although does every rom-com woman have to have a successful blog and the bloke work in the music industry?), it ends up as a cross between Date Night and Knocked Up as it becomes less about the stresses of modern living and more about couples behaving badly.
When they first met, everything Jay (a leaner than usual Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) did together was another opportunity to have sex.
"There were erections everywhere," Annie recounts on her Mommy Blog. However, if one child made that difficult, two made it impossible with the pair now reduced to trying to schedule sex days ahead.
Both claim they haven't lost that "loving feeling", but when a rare night alone find them unable to find just the right mood - Annie decides to take drastic action.
She suggests they film themselves trying out every position from The Joy of Sex.
The plan works, except for one minor detail. Instead of erasing the tape off his tablet, Jay synchs it to every device they've ever owned - including old ones they've given away to friends, family and the mailman. Now the race is on to find them and delete the file before they're exposed.
With Diaz wearing an outfit to rival her eye-popping debut in The Mask (and her displaying even more cheek than usual), this is a film that seems desperately to want to be this generation's There's Something About Mary.
From genital mishaps to prolonged dog fights, it's hard not to get the feeling that writers Segel, Kate Angelo (Will and Grace) and Nicholas Stoller (Muppets Most Wanted) had the Farrelly Brothers comedy in the background while they wrote.
To be fair, they generate a fair few laughs out of their increasingly madcap sex tape search, making the most of Segel and Diaz's easy chemistry.
But like director Jake Kasdan's last effort Bad Teacher the humour is a slightly uneasy mix of barbs, pratfalls and look-away-now cringe.
A Jack Black (Be Kind Rewind) cameo livens things up, as does a creepy Rob Lowe (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) but one can't help but be disturbed by the amount of product placement for a certain tech company (it is truly overwhelming - even while the film's underlining message seems to be that proprietary software and synching is evil) and the promotion of a particular porn site (an idea clearly borrowed from Knocked Up).
Overall, the feeling is of a less-than-cheap knock-off they've quickly knocked out.