Screenwriting 101 teaches that films are divided up into three acts; there's the set-up, the conflict and the resolution. The most common problem that comedies have is that the first act is killer and then it gets progressively less funny as the film goes on. In my opinion, The Hangover was the best example of this. The ending of that movie has me barely smiling, let alone not laughing. Sex Tape is interesting because it's almost the exact opposite. It's a comedy that starts off horrendously unfunny, has a spectacular middle and a final act that certainly doesn't finish strong but it is way better than how it starts.
Jason Segel will always hold a special place in my heart for being someone who fought hard to bring The Muppets back into the spotlight. I want to give him a pass for every bad performance he has and this is no exception. Segel is paired up with Cameron Diaz again (the last time was in Bad Teacher) as a couple who has fallen into the quagmire of marriage that centers around routine, low energy, children's needs and, of course, no sex. The fact that Diaz shares almost every frame with Segel highlights the fact that these are two actors that aren't really that great. They are very apt and have made a fortune at playing themselves in movies and that's all we can expect from them.
The premise of the movie is funny and somewhat relatable for anyone in a similar situation. The couple decides to make a sex tape (it's not just a clever title) in an effort to spice up their love life. Predictably, Segel forgets to delete it and it's sent out to everyone in a very effective advertisment for how great Apple is at backing up files. It's a one-joke movie that never really goes anywhere beyond exactly where you think it will. There are no twists. There are no turns. If you have even half of a brain you can see every joke and situations happening before they happen.
The best moment in Sex Tape and perhaps one of the funniest sequences in any comedy this summer is a 15-minute-long scene that takes place at Diaz's perspective boss' house, who's played wonderfully by Rob Lowe. Jake Kasdan is Sex Tape's director. Despite the fact that he directed the dud Bad Teacher, he's also responsible for Walk Hard and Orange County, two HIGHLY underrated comedies of the last 15 years. That scene at Lowe's house is as funny as anything in those films. It's almost worth the cost of admission alone...almost. The problem is that it's a totally different tone than the rest of it. It's frustrating because it's so bizarre, crazy and well done that you wonder why Kasdan didn't execute the rest of the film in the same way.
Sex Tape is being billed as the ultimate date movie. I don't know if that's necessarily true but it does do a good job of not leaning too girlie or too much for bros. Sure, Diaz gets naked and she's still smoking hot but Segel lost a lot of weight to make him somewhat better looking for the women in the audience too. Both sexes have their perspective and emotions expressed in equal amounts of time too. The balance they strive for is impressive but it's not enough. Not sure if any of you have ever made a sex tape but the movie is a lot like them; seemed like a great idea but once you're in it and forced to watch it, you're filled with regret because it's awkward and makes you wish you never did it in the first place.