Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Movie Review - Sex Tape

Director: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe
Year: 2014

They say sex sells, and they're right.  Raise your hand if the name 'Cameron Diaz' caught your attention.  And then keep it raised if the sight of her in panties got you into the theatre.  You're not alone and you're not as pathetic as you think.  It's a formula that has worked a million times and will keep working as long as humans have hormones.  Make a movie about sex, cast someone hot, say it's funny, and audiences will arrive.  You'd think we'd be smarter than that, that we'd see the bad movie coming a mile away and steer clear.  And perhaps we're not as dumb as all that; it's not like Sex Tape is raking in the megabucks.  But I went to see it, maybe you did too, and you know when it's released on Netflix it'll be one of the most popular movies available for streaming.  We just can't help ourselves I guess, the urge to be a pseudo-voyeur for an evening is too strong and we, I fear, are too weak.

Jay & Annie are in a slump.  They used to be a wild couple; sex in every position, every room, any time, any place.  But nowadays things just keep getting in the way.  Jay works a lot, Annie is a busy mom, their two kids take a lot of their time, and they're starting to forget how to make the magic happen like they used to.  So they make a sex tape.  That's right, boom, a sex tape.  And it works, their spark is relit, but there's just one small problem; the Cloud.  Jay doesn't erase the video right away, some devices get synced, and all of a sudden the tape is out there for the world to see.  So the happy couple go on an adventure to stop others from watching their special moment, to secure their privacy, and perhaps to save their marriage.  Attack dogs, psycho preteens, wild millionaires; nothing will stop them from erasing that movie, no matter what they have to do.

I'll start off by stating a fact; Cameron Diaz is still hot.  She still has a killer bod and it's never a bad idea to parade her around in her underwear; that'll always be a crowd-pleaser.  Jason Segel on the other hand just looked sick.  He lost a lot of weight for the film and yes his body is fit, but his face looks skeletal and it weirds me out.  I guess he wanted to be a more viable partner for Diaz in order to make the film more believable, and I respect that he must have worked hard to get in shape, but he just doesn't look like himself.  As a pair, they tried hard to make the movie sexy, and in parts it worked.  Partial nudity & sexual positions abound, and it is a pretty realistic look at the wild times of youth compared to the relative normalcy of marriage.  The chemistry between Diaz & Segel wasn't amazing; it seemed a little forced at times and I never fully trusted that they were compatible.  But then again the sex was mostly used for humor, not arousal, so I guess they didn't need perfect harmony.  I just wish the humor had been more funny.

Maybe Segel lost his comedic timing along with his weight, because wow was he off.  It was like he was awkwardly spouting lines that had been made up two minutes earlier and had never been thought through to decide whether or not they were actually funny.  Diaz too was less humorous and more bumbly.  She's not a very good actress, let me put that out there, and seems to fail every time she's asked to handle a major role.  Put her in something smaller and she shines: There's Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich, Vanilla Sky.  But big roles are too much for her talent, asking too much of someone who has a quirky look and is pretty, but can't do a lead character.  Rob Lowe stole the show; he actually cracked me up.  The movie itself was funny at times, I'll give it that much, but I can't give it too much credit.  It was a constant barrage of dirty jokes, innuendos, sight gags, prat falls, raunchy comedy, and stupid humor.  It never stopped, seeming to randomly throw out humor and hope it sticks.  And so it was funny every once in a while, but it was accidental comedy, a shot in the dark that struck me only a couple times.  Other people in the audience got hit more that I did, laughing throughout, but I can only hope that they were the minority.  Sex Tape turned out to be a cross between Neighbors and The Other Woman; not as funny as the former but not as terrible as the latter, a dumb movie that we should have seen coming a mile away but just couldn't resist.

My rating: ☆ ☆

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