It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Three years ago, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel co-starred for director Jake Kasdan in "Bad Teacher" and had an enjoyable, raunchy chemistry. She was the bad teacher of the film’s title: a drunken vixen who was only working with children because she needed money for a boob job. He was the irreverent, easygoing gym teacher who saw through her flaws and schemes and wanted to hang out with her anyway. It was a one-joke movie, but there were enough shadings and variations within that one joke to make it somewhat fun.
Now, Diaz and Segel co-star for Kasdan again in “Sex Tape,” but their characters are so indiscernible as actual human beings, it’s hard to tell who they are, much less whether they have any sort of enjoyable, raunchy chemistry. She’s a married, stay-at-home mother of two who writes a blog about her family, and that’s about it. He’s her husband, who works at a radio station in some capacity, maybe...? They make a sex tape to spice up their formerly frisky marriage and it accidentally goes public. It’s a one-joke movie that feels like a one-joke movie.
It’s a high-concept premise that ends up being preposterous and riddled with plot holes, and the way these fools fling themselves into an all-night, madcap adventure to right their wrong is painfully strained and unfunny. Also, the whole notion of making a sex tape and then being ashamed of it seems sort of quaint at this point—as if everyone involved missed the zeitgeist for maximum relevance and edginess about five years ago.
High-tech devices to create quality, do-it-yourself cinema surround us more than ever, as we well know. Nowhere is this more true than in “Sex Tape,” which is essentially one long commercial for Apple products wrapped in a toothless, feel-good comedy about a longtime married couple reconnecting. It’s amazing, the quality of the camera on the iPad that’s propped securely on top of the laundry basket as Diaz’s Annie and Segel’s Jay re-enact every single pose in the iconic ‘70s tome "The Joy of Sex." And wow—the Cloud! It’s so powerful as it sucks in every last blip of digital information in ways no one could possibly understand (including the people who made this movie).