Movie Review: Sex Tape
It’s never clear what you’re going to get if you walk into a movie that tells you it’s about sex in it’s title, i.e. 2008’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Sex Drive (what was with 2008’s obsession with sex movies anyway?). The former film had half-naked and completely naked people in about two thirds of the movie, while the latter had one terribly awkward almost-sexual encounter for about five minutes.
Given my past history with these blatantly sexual movies, I was skeptical about Sex Tape. But I went anyway and learned three things: Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel are too old to play themselves in flashbacks but can still pull off being naked on screen for brief amounts of time, Jack Black is very convincing as the owner and CEO of a porn website, and if your mom doesn’t mind watching a film with the word “sex” in the title, it’s totally safe to watch this movie with her.
Yes, you read that right. It is perfectly OK to see Sex Tape with your mom provided she’s aware of how society works today and can laugh at crude humor. In fact, you could probably bring your 14-year-old sibling to the R rated film and still not have exposed them to anything worse than they’ve already seen online. (Side note: I am not recommending bringing a minor unless you have explicit permission from their parents, and even then you should probably let their parent take them so you don’t get judged.)
For a movie whose central plot is that parents Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) get drunk one night, film themselves having sex, and then proceed to accidently upload the file to half a dozen iPads, Sex Tape is rather tame. Sure there are about 10 minutes where neither Diaz, or Segel, are wearing clothes, but for the most part clever prop placement keeps you from seeing anything aside from side-boob. Which I personally didn’t have a problem with considering I was at the drive-in and didn’t intend to watch a porn film while there.
But as the movie continued, I found myself asking why the trailer and all the promos made it seem like Sex Tape was going to be way raunchier. In fact, I found Rob Lowe doing blow to be more jarring than any of the sex scenes (except for one, which looked terribly painful for all involved and elicited a groan from my boyfriend a couple times — but that’s a different story all together). Even when Jack Black and his servers full of porn made an appearance, the film was rather tame and everyone was fully clothed.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Sex Tape. It made me laugh, had a great cast, and never made me feel awkward for the characters on screen — it was perfect for a relaxing summer night. But if you go in hoping to see Diaz topless every other scene and to watch Segel make a mockery of himself, you’re going to be disappointed. Sex Tape probably could have gotten itself down to a PG-13 rating with a few clever cuts and maybe a title change, and probably should have in order to really bring in the box office dollars. Since it didn’t though, it means us adults can enjoy a not-so-raunchy comedy without the incessant chatter and obnoxious-yet-awkward laughter of teenagers.