“The jokes have all been made before in one form or another and barely provoke a titter on the very best of occasions.”

Sex Tape (2014)
by Matt Allen

Certificate: 15
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Jack Black, Rob Lowe
Director(s): Jake Kasdan
Screenwriter(s): Jason Segel, Kate Angelo, Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 94 Minutes

If nothing else, the recent leakage of nude celebrity selfies (affectionately dubbed The Fappening by trolls everywhere) proves that it is never truly safe to keep a digital record of your private shenanigans when your privates are involved. But at least one thing has come out of this shameless invasion of privacy; what seemed like a run of the mill date movie actually has some topical value! Who’d of thunk it?

When Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) attempt to reclaim their sex fuelled youth by making a personal porno they inadvertently send it to their friends and family. Cue a mad dash around town to delete the offending .mp4 before it’s too late…

Movies like this don’t exactly suffer from the burden of living up to high expectations. They’re popcorn fodder released on the principle that a few young couples will be at a loss as to what to see on their first date and compromise on a vaguely raunchy comedy that’ll provide a couple of laughs for both parties.

That being said, Sex Tape barely lives up to that promise. The jokes have all been made before in one form or another and barely provoke a titter on the very best of occasions.

All the familiar elements are there: the ageing couple who, while not unhappy, are beginning to realise that somewhere along the way they hit middle-agedom; a creepy boss (Lowe) who may or may not have a thing for the wife; a botched attempt at breaking and entering; an attack dog that can open doors and a weird kid that acts way beyond his years and swears a lot to ‘hilarious’ effect.

Even the slightly over bearing neighbours feel like they have appeared in countless comedies of the same ilk – which is perhaps not helped by the presence of Rob Corddry who is currently filling that void wherever it may occur.

Segel falls back on his How I Met Your Mother persona, which he is wont to do when a script calls for nothing more than a likeable every-man going through a mid-life crisis (so a lot). His chemistry with Diaz’s blogger is believable, particularly in portraying the recent deceleration of their libidos, but aside from that there is little to attach us to them as flesh and blood characters.

The film itself predictably ambles along from one bungle to the next until the couple inevitably get in way over their heads with gangster-types (specifically porn moguls but the effect is very much the same) and somehow charm them into submission. Standard.

Formulaic to a fault and lacking anything resembling a highlight, Sex Tape is a date movie by numbers. Careful not to paint outside the lines, the finish product is the cinematic equivalent of a bowl of fruit…but with the banana and apples arranged suggestively.