Dictionary.com defines raunchy as follows: Raunchy (adj.) – vulgar or smutty; crude; openly sexual; obscene. Many a film, novel, and Facebook status have fit this specific definition. However, we are very fortunate that Facebook statuses and most novels don’t cost $10 plus for the price of admission. With these we are blessed with the ability to block, hide, or throw away such trash. In this case, when a film is capable of headlining its own Raunchfest of everything cringingly wrong with the industry, then something has to be said of the person given permission to greenlight such a project. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Sex Tape.
With the film’s title already speaking for itself, the audience is limited in the bang for their buck out of the gate. Pun intended. Director Jake Kasdan must have pulled the short end of the stick at the studio, because he was already given a cornucopia of rubble to deal with. The tale of a sex-crazed couple (Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz) experiencing a drought in their hectic marriage evolves into straight chaos as their spontaneous sex tape lands in the wrong hands…everyone.
The first bullet point of disaster to attack is the story of this film. No, I’m not referring to the idea engine that drives this film off of a cliff. In this instance, I’m referring to the story as a character. The story is poorly executed. Thus, it is incredibly challenging (aka impossible), for the audience to interact and learn from the “story” unfolding in front of their eyes. Yes, there are values that these characters try to convey as important to the audience. However, the characters bluntly thwack us over the head with said values, and hardly give us any belief that they actually believe what they’re performing.
Performance is key in the success of a film. In Sex Tape’s case, performance is yet, another key to the failed execution of a hopeless raunchy project with star appeal. Jason Segel plays husband Jason to the wife of Annie played by Cameron Diaz. They are perhaps two of the most talented actors to not have any sort of chemistry on screen. There wasn’t one moment of believability that these two could have at one point been happily married together. Even during the moments of self-realization when they come to terms that they are both the problem in their stagnant relationship, it’s difficult to believe that they even read their lines before reciting them. This is just a pair of incredibly poor performances from a duo of talented actors in their other respective works.
I could delve deeper into everything that makes this film faulty, and not worth a cent of your money. There were brief comedic moments involving Rob Lowe as Hank, Annie’s hopeful boss. His character was spot on, and one could agree that his performance was in the vain of his character Chris Traeger on NBC’s Parks and Rec. Besides that, the rest of the film falls flat. Do yourself a favor and see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in order to gain some value out of a film this summer.
Sex Tape opens today in area theaters.
Author: Kyle Harter
Kyle Harter recently relocated to Philadelphia after receiving his BA in Film from the University of Central Florida. Kyle aspires to a career of filmmaking, writing, and adventure. Kyle has a mild obsession with Quentin Tarantino, coffee, and Corgis. He co-authors the film blog, The Main Squeeze.