Sex Tape

By Casey Tourangeau

Mailed on July 18, 2014

Stamp image Return to
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star

Dear Apple iPad

Dear Apple,

The poster for Sex Tape really focuses on the pairing of Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz. But you're there, too. Front and centre, quite literally.

It's appropriate, too, because you really are the star of the film.

It's a performance worthy of Peter Sellers - you appear as multiple different versions of yourself - in which you instigate and resolve the film's entire plot--and even do your own stunts along the way, getting tossed out of windows and chased by vicious guard dogs.

That's a lot for an inanimate object made out of glass, aluminum, and silicon.

Like Francis McDormand in Fargo, you don't make your first appearance until well into the film (and if your fortunes mirror hers any further, Andy Serkis may not be the only controversial Oscar talk of this year's ceremony)

Sex Tape is ostensibly the story of Annie and Jay, a couple who used to live for nothing more than long, hot marathon sessions of sex anywhere conceivable. That is, of course, until they got married and had two kids who wrecked everything. All of this exposition is told in flashbacks as Annie types it up for her popular mommy blog, using a MacBook Pro, natch (don't worry: your sibling does not upstage you).

This is where you come in. Jay, a music professional of some sort (I was never quite sure what his actual job was, but his house had a lot of concert posters and we are introduced to him at a radio station) receives a pair of new iPads that he needs "for his music collection" (or something). He receives new iPads so often that he gives the old ones away (because in a movie written by wealthy Hollywood types, the only logical thing for a music professional and an unemployed blogger to do with a bunch of extra iPads is to give them away to people who are barely acquaintances--the mailman, for instance).

These new iPads give Annie an idea: she suggests using your "amazing new camera" to create the titular film clip. You know--to spice up the evening. Three hours later, you've become the world's best marital aid. Annie, feeling slightly embarrassed by the whole endeavour, asks Jay to erase the evidence. He does exactly that, and the movie ends after thirty minutes with the couple returned to their salad days of nothing but boring, undocumented sex…

…no, of course that doesn't happen. And not only does Jay not erase the xxx clip, he also manages to use your insanely great interface to sync the video across _all _the iPads he has given away (it "just works," after all). This is where the film really begins: the horny couple must track down and destroy the evidence--all of it.

Will hijinks ensue? We don't need your A7 64-bit processor to see where this story's headed.

Like the complaints leveled against your yearly launch events, Sex Tape is entirely predictable. Actually, it's worse than predictable. It's predictable and aimless. The script by Segel, Nicholas Stoller, and Kate Angelo is too lazy to even provide enough incident to keep us distracted while we await the inevitable. Everyone involved seems to have recognized this; even director Jake Kasdan lets scenes play out well past the point where they offer any kind of return. Sure, Rob Lowe is amusing as the not-quite-as-wholesome-as-he-seems CEO looking to buy Annie's blog. But that one joke is not strong enough to carry the 20-minute sequence in which Annie and Jay conspire to rescue you from his clutches. For a movie that clocks in at a scant 94 minutes, Sex Tape takes forever.

I'm not blaming you for any of this. Even the characters of Sex Tape don't blame you; they take great pains to assure us that everyone is just using you wrong. Your virtues are praised so often, and with such conviction, that Sex Tape _seems to be a feature-length infomercial for Apple. Until it doesn't. In a strange twist, _Sex Tape also makes a case for the healing power of YouPorn. No, that wasn't a Freudian slip. I typed that correctly. I found myself wondering how you feel about this endorsement, being the product of such a notoriously sex-shy corporation.

No, there aren't many bright spots in Sex Tape. Rob Cordry and Ellie Kemper provide a few laughs, and Kumail Nanjiani is funny as always--but his presence only made me wish I could see you out to better use on his show, Silicon Valley. Maybe there you'd be less of a distraction and more of a character actor, nailing your small role in order to make the stars look good.

Revisiting my backup strategy,


comments powered by Disqus
(% endraw %}