Eppler: 'Sex Tape' is a goofy farce, not a smutty slum

Reported by: James Eppler
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Updated: 7/21/2014 5:15 pm

On Twitter: @JamesEppler 

The title for "Sex Tape" is misleading in a couple ways: first, no one records on tapes anymore, but more importantly it's a term that seems to encompass everything on the Internet that is seedy and smutty. This movie is neither of those things. Instead, it's more of a goofy farce that has a very sweet center.

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are Jay and Annie - married with two kids and running into a problem: no time for sex. So to spice things up, as the title would indicate, they decide to video a night of copulation. Instead of getting erased, it winds up getting sent to their family and friends.

Segel co-wrote the screenplay with two others, and they know part of the formula for farce is plot contrivances mixed with people not making smart decisions. Instead of Annie and Jay placing a simple call to Apple tech support, they decide to track down all their friends' affected iPads. But there's some truth to grown-ups not knowing how this stuff works.

There are sections of the movie that feel strained like Segel's run-in with a mean dog, but I laughed throughout, and really enjoyed the chemistry between Diaz and Segel. And I'll admit - there are some jokes only parents can truly appreciate.

"Neighbors" is another movie this summer that explored arrested development and the crisis of growing up. It's a much better movie than "Sex Tape," but they would work well as companion pieces.

But I'll take this kind of date movie over a Nicholas Sparks weepie any day.


Out of five stars
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