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Not Your Parents’ Home Movies … Hopefully


Much like a Charlie Rich song, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. Unless, of course, you have a couple looking to reignite the spark in their relationship, a video camera and a complete misunderstanding of “the cloud” and cloud-related software.

Such is the case in the story of Annie and Jay in “Sex Tape.”

Annie (Cameron Diaz) is a stay-at-home mom/writer who is aspiring to sell her blog and turn it into a full-time career. Jay (Jason Segel) is a program director at a radio station known for his “epic” playlists and his generosity – when he upgrades his work iPad, he often gives the old ones away to his friends and family members.

Between work, raising children and other family/social obligations, Annie and Jay are finding it difficult to have any “alone time.” When the time comes that they actually do find some spare time, they can’t seem to make it work. In an attempt to spice things up, they bring a camera into the mix, with an agreement that whatever they record will quickly be deleted.

This is where the problems start.

All of the iPads Jay gave away remain linked to his computer, so when he doesn’t actually delete the couple’s new “home movies,” he inadvertently shares them with everyone who has one.

Now, the race is on to retrieve the old iPads, remove the movies and maintain their reputations as a wholesome American family.

It takes a special kind of actor to take something that could be considered creepy and/or taboo and turn it into something the masses could find funny. And if there’s a pair out there right now that can do it it’s Diaz and Segel. They’re just a likeable onscreen duo. If you don’t like one or the other, I suggest you skip this one, because despite small supporting roles for the very funny Rob Corddry and Rob Lowe, it really is the “Diaz-Segel Show.”

The story moves quickly – likely because of a lot of physical humor, jokes about aging and technology and other sophomoric fare – and any major blemishes are glossed over by the cast.

If I have one major complaint about the movie is that at times it seems like a 90-minute iPad commercial. It’s funny (think of the over-the-top product placement scene in “Wayne’s World 2”), but it just gets to be a bit much at times. Unless it was put in there as an unpaid jab, then it remains funny.

But overall, if that’s my major sticking point, it’s not a bad thing.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it the “date movie of the summer” like some people are (it’s likely a bit too raunchy and/or R-rated for that moniker), but “Sex Tape” is a fun, light-hearted and unapologetic romp through the different stages of a maturing/evolving relationship and should be looked at as nothing more than that.

★★★ of ★★★★★

© 2020 by Man Versus Movie

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