The protagonists of SEX TAPE are a happily married couple, deeply in love and deeply committed to one another and their two kids, but, after 10 years or so of marriage, the fiery passion they enjoyed in the first flush of lust/love, and before discovering how versatile a ladys lady parts are, has become a warm glow rather than a raging fire. Excitement has become familiarity, with dirty talk giving way to banter about allergies, and the mechanics of kissing moving to the forefront of osculation. In a bold stroke of verisimilitude, the film itself is as dull and lifeless as our couples sex life, and as is the case with these things, anothers doldrums are not the fodder for entertainment.
The couple, co-writer Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz are an engaging, and thoroughly likable pair of performers, and they have the light comedic touch necessary to make the near-explicit nooky part of the film somehow wholesome rather than sordid. Alas, its not enough to make this dreary mess watchable, even if Diaz has chosen this vehicle to bare her butt for the first time. Its a comely butt, but then, so is Segals, which is also on view.
The story plods along with a painful amount of exposition. Part of this is because Segals character is dumb as a sack of doorknobs. But mostly its for reasons that I could not begin to fathom, and, after the third iteration of how the couples titular tape, created to spice up their sex life, ended up propagated into cyberspace, I stopped trying to figure it out. Further alas, the third iteration was not the last, not by a longshot. It was after that third iteration, though, that I become convinced that the film was not intentionally insulting my intelligence. Perhaps I am giving too much credit to all involved, but someone somewhere seemed to think this was funny.
Segal and Diaz spend most of the film dithering in panic mode, first trying to decide who might have seen them go through all the positions in a sex manual, and then trying to decide how to get the video of their exertions back after its been uploaded. Friends Robb Cordrey and Ellie Kemper have a fine understated style, and potential boss Robe Lowe is wonderfully loopy, but the height of inventiveness here is finding sex toys in someones nightstand drawer, and discovering that sex on a kitchen floor is less comfortable than anticipated. The pace lags, peppered as it is with that egregious exposition, and the story is whisper thin, padded with that exposition, and the annoyance of an audience that is always several steps ahead of the protagonists. One wonders, seriously, how this dim couple has managed to survive in the world at all, much less thrive with a cushy upper middle-class lifestyle.
SEX TAPE succeeds only as an advertisement for the tablet mentioned every dozen words or so, and that forms the McGuffin chased with sadly ineffectual diligence by Segal and Diaz. There is nothing clever, prurient, or fun here. Its all a depressing opus full of game players trying their best to make bad material work. And failing.