The Bock’s Office: ‘Sex Tape’ arouses little interest
July 24, 2014
Three hours, one minute and 42 seconds sounds lengthy enough for a feature film. When you consider this is the span of the piece of the accidental amateur skin flick causing all the problems in the comedy "Sex Tape," it seems downright infinite.
And while the movie itself is only half this duration, it somehow seems even longer.
At the start of their relationship, Annie and Jay (Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel) were the undisputed champions of making love. As college students, they were rarely out of each other's embrace and enjoyed every minute of it.
But after marriage and 10 years of parenthood, their libido just isn't what it used to be, though not for lack of trying. The attraction and the desire are still there, but it isn't until one night when everything aligns just right — kids out of the house, work isn't as stressful — that they can finally do their younger selves proud.
In fact, the two take it one step further by recording the entire thing. Just for their own personal use, of course.
With their love life back on track, it seems everything is perfect — until Jay learns that a technological mishap has resulted in their sordid video being shared with an uncertain number of their family and friends.
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Without knowing who has seen them doing the dirty deed and who hasn't, Annie and Jay waste no time in attempting to erase their digital shame with the hopes that they aren't about to go viral.
As the half of the suburbanite couple who clearly has both the beauty and the brains, Diaz does little despite the comic sensibilities she's displayed in the past. It would be a stretch to say she's there purely as eye candy, but what would you call her bit channeling Rollergirl from "Boogie Nights," complete with a see-through white top?
This is the closest we get to a nude female form, and fortunately — for those who couldn't stomach his full frontal appearance from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" — we don't see too much of Segel's undercarriage, either, though his freckly torso is more than enough. Considering he co-wrote the screenplay, you'd think he would have tried to make himself look like less of an oaf, but at least we can respect someone willing to laugh at themselves even if no one else is.
Of course, that may be due to the total lack of humor.
There's plenty of grinding and grimacing between the two unintentional porn stars at first, but when it comes to their big debut, we don't get to see much as they act out every page of the seminal "The Joy of Sex." The comedy supposedly is meant to come from the hilarity that ensues as Annie and Jay scramble to keep what was supposed to be a rekindling of their devotion from becoming an ugly joke.
Movies that deal with sex in a frank yet mature tone are rare, and this doesn't even come close to chipping away at the many years of the most natural thing in the world being perverted as something that feels good while you're doing it followed by instant disgrace. To be fair, Segel and co-writers Kate Angelo and Nicholas Stoller, as well as director Jake Kasdan, weren't aiming for this to break down any walls, but their insistence at making the leading man and lady so monumentally stupid only hurts it further.
How dumb do you have to be to think you can erase the Internet with a baseball bat? Or for that matter, create a video of yourself doing something private in an age where everything electronic is communal?
It's baffling to think who might be satisfied by "Sex Tape." Those who want some solid laughs are out, for sure, as are any viewers who think they've got a good peep show in store.
Still, if seeing a German shepherd that's been thrown against a wall wake up and maul an idiot is what you consider entertainment, you may have found your new favorite.