Last week, I made a quick trip to LA to attend the Sex Tape movie junket. This new comedy hitting cinemas tomorrow stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, reuniting with their Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan for a film that manages to be raunchy and heart-warming at the same time.
The movie opens with Annie (Diaz) writing a blog post about her husband Jay (Segel) and how their relationship has changed after 10 years, 2 kids, and stressful jobs. Annie is a successful mommy blogger (!), and is thrilled when she receives a lucrative offer from the CEO of a large toy corporation (Rob Lowe) to purchase her blog and make her the official “Piper Brothers Mother” brand ambassador. To celebrate, she sends the kids off to Grandma’s house for the evening so she can surprise Jay with a special “Date night”.
Jay and Annie quickly realize that the stresses of life have made intimacy unexpectedly awkward – what would have previously been a passionate moment on the kitchen floor turns into “Ow, my knees!” and “I can’t get into the mood because I can see my to-do list from here”. Frustrated, the pair try to brainstorm how they can get their mojo back, and Annie gets the idea to record their own private sex tape on Jay’s new iPad. Their little “Film project” is successful in breaking the ice and rekindles their bond, so it would seem that everything is going great – until Jay gets an anonymous text saying, “Enjoyed your video”. Uh-oh!!!
As it turns out, the device’s appropriately-named “Frankensync” technology has put their private movie in the cloud, where it can be accessed by anyone on Jay’s account. Unfortunately, Jay is very generous in giving away his old iPads to friends, acquaintances – and the CEO of Piper Brothers, who is supposed to be reviewing Annie’s blog on the device that weekend. The pair then embark on a frantic, madcap adventure where they will attempt to beg, borrow, and steal their old iPads back before time runs out. They are joined in their mission by their somewhat-unhelpful friends, Robby (Rob Corddry) and Tess (Ellie Kemper), with a few surprise cameos along the way.
Sex Tape brings to mind a middle-aged version of Superbad. Personally, I thought it was really funny and had a great time watching it! I often get bored in the movie theater or find that comedies fall flat for me, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The script keeps the awkward humor to a minimum, focusing more on ribald jokes with a mix of everyday scenarios and completely outlandish adventures, which is so much funnier to me than cringing my way through a movie as I do so often!
I think this film is squarely targeted at audiences in their 30s and early 40s – its depiction of how people around my age talk and behave was pretty spot on. Annie, Jay and their friends all lead wholesome and responsible lives, but they’re still real people; their personalities haven’t suddenly gone away just because they’re older and have children or responsibilities. I also think this film does a good job of portraying how our relationships with technology are evolving. If you’re young enough to have used the Internet in your earlier years, but old enough to remember payphones, you will probably be able to relate to this movie. Older audiences might find the movie too crass, while younger audiences might find it passe!
Besides all the laughs, one of the things I appreciated about the film is that the couple are on the same page – there are no “Nagging wife” or “Deprived husband” tropes here, just a couple who both have normal needs and work together to figure out solutions to their problems. They’re honest but kind to each other and don’t place blame, which is what makes the relationship seem real and actually makes the movie pretty sweet, without being cloying. Make no mistake, though: This movie is very outrageous. If you are offended by nudity, swearing, drug jokes or sex humor…then a movie called Sex Tape probably isn’t for you. 😉 If you’re not offended by those things, then make a date with your significant other or head to the cinema for girl’s night tomorrow, July 18th to catch the