More of a balls up than balls out comedy
Everyone loves a good ‘fail’ video. One of the most recent ones I saw was of a steeplechase and in it there are loads of athletes clipping the water jump and face planting straight into the water. Sex Tape is basically one of these athletes.
In all fairness it must be really hard to make a hilarious movie as people have such varied tastes when it comes to what things tickle their funny bone. Making a film that can cross such boundaries is a rather large hurdle and one that I wouldn’t want to try and vault over.
Its safe to say that Sex Tape isn’t ‘hilarious’. It’s not ‘very funny’ or even ‘amusing’, at best it is mildly entertaining… sometimes. I guess that in itself is a pretty damning review for a comedy film, after all, the main thing a comedy needs to do is make you chuckle.
The film starts off with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel going at it like rabbits on heat in a similar vein as the start of Bridesmaids. The film then meanders through the couple getting married and having kids and finding no time to bring back their pre-marrital passion. In order to inject a bit of Spark they decide to make a sex tape. Once made it goes to the mysterious cloud and unfortunately Segel’s cloud is synced with lots of other devices given to friends so the race is on to stop the video from leaking.
The main problem that keeps this film from being funny is that there is too much focus on grounding it in reality. It tries to portray a philosophical message about how life doesn’t have to end after marriage/children it just has to evolve and focus on what made it great in that first few months of dating. Fine, ground it in reality, make a statement but if this is grounded in reality what the hell do the couple do for a job? Segel is some sort of rock concert man with playlists that means he has ipads to give away? Diaz writes a mum blog that wants to be bought by a company that makes family happiness and pineapple? ah fuck I don’t know.
The characters are so poorly fleshed out that the film feels like it should be a brash teen comedy and some of the gags suit this slapstick style of humour. Some being the key word here. It’s not wild enough to be stupidly funny and it’s not refined enough to be a comedy-drama so what we are left with is porridge – by itself it’s just a bland gloop.
The film picks up in the middle where Cameron Diaz does coke at her prospective boss’s house and Segel fights a dog but it’s Segel’s friends (Rob Corddry & Ellie Kemper) whose comic timing steals the show. But the bizarre and under-developed characterisation of Diaz’s boss (Rob Lowe) detracts from the whole scene for me.
The film ends with us seeing parts of the sex tape and whilst some of it was funny, notably Diaz doing ‘fuckrobatics’ or ‘gymnasticourse’, I couldn’t help but wish I’d just spent 10 minutes watching some silly faux sex tape rather than watching 94 minutes of Sex Tape.
- Front flip ‘docking’ scene
- If you think the price of a cinema ticket is worth seeing Diaz/Segel in almost full frontal
- Lacking any character development
- It’s not very funny
- Poor delivery of the films message