Long before Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton were caught out, even before Pamela Anderson cavorted with Tommy Lee, Rob Lowe’s X-rated, on-screen antics were attracting global headlines. The actor exhausted himself and – temporarily – his Hollywood career after bedding two females in a controversial sex tape filmed in the late 1980s. In light of that scandal, it’s perhaps fitting that Lowe is now the highlight of Sony’s forthcoming comedy, Sex Tape – although the peak for most red-blooded males is more likely to be a naked Cameron Diaz.
Reuniting with her Bad Teacher director, Jake Kasdan, and co-star, Jason Segel, Diaz plays Annie, a frustrated mother, wife and blogger, eager to reignite a sexual spark with husband Jay (Segel). They film themselves re-enacting every position in The Joy of Sex book but their three-hour marathon, captured with an iPad, is inadvertently shared via an app to other devices. The couple soon works up a less enjoyable sweat in a dash to prevent others from seeing the footage.
One potential viewer is Hank (Lowe), the seemingly wholesome CEO of a company interested in buying Annie’s blog about motherhood. Lowe’s character is the vehicle for the film’s funniest scenes, and the addition of a vicious pet dog – an apparent necessity for almost all Hollywood comedies – leads to genuine belly laughs.
Segel eclipses Diaz in his portrayal of the hapless husband responsible for the footage leak, and the supporting cast deliver noteworthy performances: Jack Black and Jolene Blalock appear as the owners of YouPorn, while Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper are family friends also struggling with the sex-starved routine of marriage.
Sadly, the structure of the narrative is arguably a parody of stereotypical bad sex: it takes a while to get going, finally becomes interesting, only to suddenly flag towards the end. The movie concludes without any surprise and there are moments throughout that appear to be an undisguised advertisement for Apple products. The tone of the film is not sufficiently risqué or scandalous to reach grown-up standards and is reminiscent of that childish, giggly way school kids respond to the word “sex”. As a result, some of the gags fall flat with an older audience but when they hit the mark, they pound the funny bone like Annie and Jay on their on-screen mattress.
Sex Tape is a fun, light comedy with a racy edge and enough chuckles to entertain.
Sex Tape is released nationwide on 3rd September 2014.
Watch the trailer for Sex Tape here: