Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper
It seems almost too coincidental that in the same week hundreds of Hollywood actresses have had their most intimate photos leaked online comes a film that partially dramatizes the whole situation. However, while this latest celeb scandal is unlikely to boost iPad sales, Jake Kasdan’s film practically begs you to go to an Apple store and buy one. For though it may come in the guise of a feature film, Sex Tape is little more than 90-minute example of blatant product-placement.
What story there is concerns married couple Annie and Jay, who attempt to spice up their relationship by making a little amateur erotica in the privacy of their own home. Unfortunately, the subsequent sex tape is then synched with the iPads of their friends and work colleagues (naturally), causing the cohabitants to set off on a mission to save their dignity.
Given the title, it isn’t hard to see what kind of tone Kasdan and his writers (Jason Segel, Kate Angelo & Nicholas Stoller) are trying to emulate here. The hallmarks of riotously raunchy comedies such as Knocked Up and American Pie are plain to see throughout. Yet the whole film is no more crudely amusing than a giant yellow placard emblazoned with the word “erection”.
Quick wit and daring dialogue are dispensed with almost entirely, replaced with Jason Segel saying the word “sex” quite a lot, and Cameron Diaz prancing about without any underwear on. The hope is that such juvenile humor will somehow excite you, but chances are it will fail to get your motor running.
It certainly doesn’t seem to have any effect on its two stars, whose chemistry is frustratingly limp throughout. Lacking the fizz and fire necessary to stimulate the story. The same goes for Kasdan, who never manages to fuse the film with the energy it so desperately needs.
That the finale, which blithely blows its entire load across the screen, fails to arouse your interest speaks volumes. As does the fact that, in a film where his character gets to snort lines of coke while on a sofa with one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses, Rob Lowe never looks anything other than bored.
There are some minor successes. Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper clearly have a blast as Jay and Annie’s best friends. While a nicely played surprise cameo towards the end, triumphs in momentarily lifting the film’s tone from its perpetually baron state.
The only real achievement Sex Tape is likely to be remembered for however, is its effortless ability to convince you that Macs are the be-all and end-all of modern-day computing devices. Even in those moments when the camera is hastily trying to leer at Diaz’s finely toned derrière, you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere in the frame there’ll also be an Apple logo. And in the moments when one can’t be squeezed into the shot, a short line of dialogue will plug the gap; such as the moment Segel picks up an iPad and bluntly states how amazing he thinks it is… Chances are he’s more turned on there then you’ll be for the duration!