Where Did All of the Raunchy Comedies Go This Year?
The recently released “Sex Tape” starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal who have reteamed with their “Bad Teacher” director Jake Kasdan had me wondering if Hollywood has run out of fresh ideas when coming up with adult comedies with mature themes. BuzzFeed journalist Alison Willmore wrote a great article that basically called out “Sex Tape” for making sex seem so “taboo” that it comes across as unnatural and therefore scandalous when it’s really not. The whole premise of the film, the actual “sex tape” in question that Diaz and Segal’s characters attempt to film on their mobile device comes across as banal and boring and quite frankly when the film does show bits and pieces of the video at the conclusion of the movie. You wonder what the big deal was when they lose said video.
Let’s Start From the Very Beginning…Such As It Is
But let’s get to the origins of this story and what it all means for the plot. As written by star Segal, Kate Angelo, and Nicolas Stoller, nothing in “Sex Tape” advances into a maturely thought out storyline. The movie actually gets more ludicrous and quite frankly boring as our couple Annie and Jay get to the actual goal of “retrieving” their sex tape from the iPads they have given out to colleagues. We meet Annie and Jay in college. I swear Cameron Diaz does not age, but giving her curly hair and sweatshirts doesn’t make her look any younger than she really is in reality. It just makes her and producers that thought of having them meet and get it on in college look pandering and unrealistic. We see Annie and Jay screw each other, a lot. We get the picture guys, if this is raunchy, I will take the ludicrous fake antics of The Hangover over this any day of the week.
And the Movie Goes On & On and Gets Worse & Worse
Annie and Jay’s lives continue, they get pregnant, they get married, they stop getting romantic. Mind you Annie and Jay’s kids don’t look very young, so we’ve fast forwarded here, but then again Diaz and Segal don’t really age. So we are clearly in the present time, which leads to more continuity errors here and there. Annie and Jay’s relationship is stagnant with the kids and their busy lives, Annie runs a blog and Jay does something in the music industry the audience is not alerted to. So what do they do when they celebrate Annie’s potentially selling her blog? They decide to shoot a sex video on their new iPad carrying out various positions as suggested in the book “The Joy of Sex.” They actually lose the video they recorded on their iPad of them having a night of so called ribald sex when someone mysteriously threatens them that they are going to share the video with the public.
What’s not to love here now that we all know that hijinks are going to ensue as Annie and Jay try to find out who is threatening them and how they’re going to get their video back? Don’t we all know how this one’s going to turn out? “Sex Tape’s” premise becomes so muddled in ridiculousness that honestly you don’t really care about Diaz and Segal’s characters’ lack of romantic chemistry and whether or not they make it as a couple in the end.
In fact the only part of the movie where the audience’s eyebrows may be raised is when Annie decides to literally snort a line of cocaine with her potential new boss (played by a way too excited Rob Lowe) as Jay tries to retrieve the iPad in Lowe’s character’s mansion as even more unrealistic physical comedy ensues. That scene took the debauchery to an unexpected and in my opinion an unnecessary level because it served no purpose but to shock and titillate where this movie does none of that for the rest of the film.
So, Should You See This Movie?
In a word, no. There’s nothing to see here folks and Annie and Jay as played by Diaz and Segal have very little chemistry going on so quite frankly you don’t care who’s threatening them or if they figure out how to get their video out of the cloud. And no matter how much makeup they Cameron Diaz puts on she still looks her age, not that there’s anything wrong with that. The fact the producers chose not to own it is disappointing. “Sex Tape” comes across as a schmaltzy message film which attempts to explain how our haggard lives interfere with our not only our “sex lives” but how we are supposed to maintain our lives as a romantic couple despite the lack of romance. But none of the plot points are realistic. From a “where has he been lately?” Jack Black popping up as a porn producer with inexplicable family issues of his own to Annie and Jay’s blackmailer conveniently giving back said “sex tape” to Annie and Jay for perhaps the most banal reason possible. This movie is filled with so much clichéd storytelling, ridiculous plotting and derivative characters that “Sex Tape” should be left back in its case and not “rewound” so to speak.