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Sex Tape

6/10

Stars: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe,
Nat Faxon, Nancy Lenehan, Giselle Eisenberg, Harrison Holzer

Director: Jake Kasdan

Given the title, this unashamedly filthy farce is patently aimed at multiplex filmgoers rather than auteur worshippers. If you want a critically acclaimed ‘dirty’ movie, then seek out Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II, whose clinically graphic sex scenes are redeemed and made significant by subtitling.

And that, as they say, is Show Business.

Sex Tape makes no pretence to being anything other than a preeminently star-driven multiplex-aimed crude comedy. The storyline, concocted by star Jason Segel, Kate Angelo and Nicholas Stoller, finds Segel and Cameron Diaz suffering an erotic disaster – their sex life has etiolated after ten years of marriage and two children.

And the solution?

After several failed attempts at lovemaking, Diaz suggests “Let’s video ourselves having sex”. Which they do for three hours, using every position in the legendary sex manual ‘The Joy of Sex’ as their template, a feat that wins praise from neighbour Rob Corddry who tells Segel, “That's the length of the movie Lincoln. You did the full Lincoln!”

What follows would undoubtedly met with Presidential disapproval. Segel forgets to erase the video of their night to remember, it goes public leaving the understandably desperate couple to endure a wild night of potty-mouthed adventure as they try to track down the missing tape, a dirty odyssey involving friends, neighbours, internet ‘entrepreneurs' and Diaz’s boss Rob Lowe who sociably suggests to Diaz, “Would you like to do some cocaine?”.

Good taste is resolutely avoided. It’s unrelentingly dirty, erection gags abound, Diaz and Segel shed their clothes at the drop of a clapperboard. Seekers of Art or Subtext, be warned.

Actually, should you need it, product placement – which nowadays is a given in most movies (remember long ago when James Bond has it ‘shaken, not stirred” – now, of course, he drinks a branded beer, to hell with Ian Fleming!) – may be the movie’s major suspect.

Segal and Diaz film their frolics on an Apple IPad, whose logo has a major supporting role in the movie. And the concomitant subtext? Diaz, like Eve before her, finds nudity a major problem.

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 01 Sep 2014