Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sex Tape Review

Sex Tape Review

There are some movies where all the ideas look great on paper. The sad thing is that something may be all sorts of awesome on paper, but the execution of the idea may not be translating to the screen properly. You can hire an Academy Award winning director and you can bring in every A-List actor you can find, but still the execution of an idea is everything. The success or failure of a movie depends on a core group of artists and the decisions they make.

I can tell that “Sex Tape” begins in a sincere place. It may revolve around a raunchy subject, but it tries to tell a bigger picture. It never once tries to juggle two completely different stories, rather the idea of a married couple making a sex tape parallels how problematic and difficult a particular marriage has got over the years and what a couple must do to rekindle their romance. The film tries to tackle this subject in a smart way, and I think if the film tried went in this direction the whole way, this would have been a raunchy, sexy comedy. I think Jason Siegel and Cameron Diaz are both good in this, even better than they were in 2011’s “Bad Teacher,” and they quickly draw into this relationship.

Siegel and Diaz play Jay and Annie, college sweethearts who began their relationships between the sheets and they decide to marry after Annie is pregnant. It does not matter, they really care for each other and I think Siegel and Diaz do a good job of creating a quick yet passionate relationship. Once they have not one, but two kids, they realize that continuing a rigorous, fresh sex life is tough with two little ones in the family. I do not have two kids of my own so I don’t know from experience, but the critics I have read on this movie agree that both Siegel and Diaz paint an accurate portrait of sexual frustration after starting a family. It may seem silly, but in some cases, it is a real thing, and this movie highlights that very well.

Like I said both Siegel and Diaz are excellent throughout and their supporting cast of Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper and Rob Lowe are all equally excellent. I love that you think you know where Rob Lowe’s character is going to go, and you think he’ll be a typical movie cliché. But you’ll be surprised to learn that his the last scene his character has is one of the most outrageously perfect scenes in the film. “Sex Tape” has all the right ingredients for a good, old-fashioned, raunchy comedy. But it fumbles in two important areas, it is not sexy and it is not funny.

This movie is being advertised as a comedy and it’s called “Sex Tape,” it is about a married couple that makes a sex tape that accidently gets leaked to the internet and they race to delete all copies of the tape. This is a movie that stars Jason Siegel and Cameron Diaz, so why am I not raving about it after all this explanation? Well, for starters, for an R-rated sex-comedy, it features PG-rated sex jokes. There is absolutely nothing funny about the sexual humor in the movie, this is the type of material a 6th grader would conjure and that is borderline frightening. The other material in the movie is not funny either. Not any of the jokes, not the big scene at the end where Jay tries to stop the sex tape from showing at a family event, not Jay’s fight with a dog, none of it lands. As far as humor is concerned, I barely cracked a smile once, for a comedy, that is not a good thing.

Also, the film is not sexy at all. And for a film that revolves around a sex tape (a three-hour sex tape, mind you) that is nearly unforgivable. Even as she has grown older, Cameron Diaz still looks great, and she is a perfect candidate for a movie like this, she is bold and bright and fearless in a way most actresses her age are not. It seems the crew behind this movie disagreed with me, because none of that talent is used. This is a PG-13 movie that somehow got pushed into R-rated territory and that is sad.

I am bit disappointed because I feel this could have been one of the smaller highlights of the summer. Now, I am just bummed that this didn’t work as a whole. It has some interesting insight into relationships, sexual frustrations, marriage and the need to protect what matters to you, and that could have been an intriguing parallel to a sex comedy. However, “Sex Tape” fumbles the two biggest needs to make this work, and that is a bitter pill to swallow.

FINAL GRADE: C-

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