The title of this review was going to be Sex Tape Hazardous to Your Health because Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel were so funny it was impossible to not laugh until it hurts. The film was one of those rare comedic offerings that almost had the entire cinema audience rolling in the aisles. Incredibly, the two stars were not alone in pulling no comic punches, the rest of the cast got their chance to put the audience in stitches as well.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, who has worked with Ms. Diaz before in Bad Teacher and co-written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (who have worked together before on The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the latter of which also starred Segel); the film hits the funny bone in ways that other comedies cannot. In fact the laughs come so fast and hard that a lot of dialogue can be missed, one of the top signs that a film has really “gotten it right.”
Looking at the pedigrees of the people behind the scenes, as it were, and not forgetting the fact that the third co-writer was The Back-up Plan and Will & Grace scribe Kate Angelo, there was little chance that this film would not be side-splittingly funny.
The story begins with blogger Annie (Diaz) writing a post about what sex was like when she and her husband Jay (Segel) first met. She then continues, with a montage of funny moments, to chronicle their lives and the difficulty of making whoopie after marriage and two children.
Annie’s blog is so popular, it is titled Who’s Yo Mommy?, that a big “family owned” company wants to hire Annie to write the blog for their business and when the question of price comes up, they, the company, say it is “meaningful” which Jay and she take to mean lots of money.
Once it has been determined that the company are going to buy the blog, the couple decide to celebrate. Annie opts to surprise Jay by carting the kids off to grandma’s and making up for the lack of sex with a long night of childless fun.
Unfortunately it has been so long for the couple that they are finding it hard to keep in the moment. Finally, Annie comes up with the idea of making a sex tape where she and Jay will do all the positions in The Joy of Sex book that they have not looked at in years.
After a long, and exhausting night of fun, before they fall asleep, Annie makes Jay promise he will erase the tape. A short while later, Jay gets a mystery text thanking him for uploading the sex tape. What follows next is the funniest bit of action in a film this year. It is focussed around a lot of iPad’s and a sync application known as the Bride of Frankensync.
The main players in Sex Tape are Diaz, Segel, Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper. This quartet are so funny when they are together that it hurts and each of them have splendid comedic timing. The scenes with the two couples, Corddry and Kemper play Robby and Tess who are Jay and Annie’s best friends, manage to pump up the laughter very impressively.
Rob Lowe proves without a shadow of a doubt that he can do comedy. He plays Hank, the owner of the family run/owned business. A lot of the funniest, and painful, bits of the film came from the desperate visit to his mansion by Annie and Jay to get back an iPad. Not wanting to give anything away this review cannot go into detail, but a hint to the unwary, keep an eye on the paintings.
While Diaz and Lowe are hysterically funny in their “bonding” moments, Segel steals the film with his antics while trying to find the iPad with the incriminating sex footage on it. They unwilling allowed Tess and Robby to help even though their son, Howard is attempting to blackmail Jay.
Jack Black makes a surprise appearance and what is not surprising is that his performance is amusing as well. By the end of Sex Tape, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel prove that they are so wonderfully funny as a double-act that they can make an audience laugh till it hurts. This R-rated film is a little raunchy, very funny and could be a little hazardous to ones health. Sex Tape opens countrywide on July 18. Prepare to laugh…a lot.
By Michael Smith
Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX