Monday, December 29, 2014

SEX TAPE (2014)




Directed By: Jake Kasdan 
Written By: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller 
Story By: Kate Angelo 
Cinematography By: Tim Suhrstedt 
Editor: Steve Edwards and Tara Timpone 


Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe, Nat Faxon, Randall Park, Kumail Nanjiani, James Wilcox

When Jay and Annie first got together, their romantic connection was intense - but ten years and two kids later, the flame of their love needs a spark. To kick things up a notch, they decide - why not? - to make a video of themselves trying out every position in The Joy of Sex in one marathon three-hour session. It seems like a great idea - until they discover that their most private video is no longer private. With their reputations on the line, they know they're just one click away from being laid bare to the world... but as their race to reclaim their video leads to a night they'll never forget, they'll find that their video will expose even more than they bargained for.

This film though risqué still has an air of familiarity. It might be because the problems in it seem rarely the work of truth or reality and seem to be one of a kind movie problems. Which I can accept, if they were at least entertaining for the most part or as actually funny as they think they are.

I applaud the film for being raunchy and a full blown sex comedy. Which has been missing from the cineplex's for quite some time. Even if towards the end it switches gears and becomes a little too sweet.

The last collaboration between director Jake Kasdan and Cameron Diaz was BAD TEACHER. A film with a good premise, that seemed to promise raunch, a hard edged protagonist and messed up situations. That came off lite, as whenever it headed to truly being dark. It swerved and became sweet. Here this film delivers the danger and darkness it promises, though it misses the humor and staging.

The situation of the film seems a natural occasion for comedy, as well as it might be relatable in these modern times. But the film set's up so many coincidences and hurdles that aren't truly necessary. As they just feel like they are only there to heighten the tension. Then come out as bizarre unnecessary set pieces. The film makes no sense at times and tries to set up comedic situations that make no sense. Nor are believable. We are supposed to believe that way upper middle class Jason Segel, can just freely give away old laptops? to even the mailman for instance?

The humor of the film is strange. As It seems like a film made to play only with audiences. As after each joke there seems to be a pause or low bit of dialogue, Where the filmmakers think the audience will still be laughing. So usually after a joke there is a bunch of stares that passes for dialogue or supposed to translate for the audience and know what these glances mean.

Now, Jason Segel is still setting his comedic pace, Strangely here he seems a bit out of his element or better then the material. As he has always been a more character comedic actor with dialogue. Here the role asks him to do more physical Comedy. Which is new for him and seems strange. More like a Kevin James or Adam Sandler type. I am guessing as he had so much chemistry with Diaz in BAD TEACHER, plus him being a marketable actor and comedic talent . He was cast and he's not bad just misused and awkward. Surprisingly he co-wrote the script and nicely set himself up with Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is becoming the seasoned pro at these type of comedies and is coming into her own, though I wish she had better material to pick from. She gives it her all here and is easily the best thing in the movie. I say that as she is also fearless to show her body off and not be shy about it. Also she is put literally in embarrassing positions. The whole time seems game. She also seems much more confident and sexier in her film Roles these days finally she has ripened and matured. She gives her all here and even appears nude.

Rob Lowe seems to be channeling the characters he plays on those direct TV commercials. As he is over the top and his character again seems less real and more of a hurdle. An excuse to introduce cocaine into the raunchy story. It’s also interesting casting as he was once caught up in his own sex tape scandal in the 80’s

Nicholas Stoller (A FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT) was attached to direct this at one time before scheduling issues forced him to drop out.

The third act cameo by s certain comedy star is jarring, though welcome as it comes from a celebrity who is more recently known more for family and kids films and here gets to let the rated-R material rip.

I am just disappointed by the talent behind the scenes and in front of the screen are so talented and feel they can come up with better. As this feels like a progression of the film they made before, but still aren't there yet. As these films feel like the promise of gold, but in the end you discover it's fools gold.

All in all the film is a crowd pleaser that goes for raunch then serves it through a filter.

Grade: D+

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