Sex Tape (2014)

(Video on Demand, December 2014)  Someday, a more advanced civilization will comb over sex-themed mainstream American comedies to analyze the trouble psyche of North America and the results won’t be pretty.  They’ll wonder at the strange blend of titillation and reprobation that seem to form the backbone of such movies and conclude ghastly things about our hang-ups, our push-pull relationship to sex and the ways we compartmentalize aspects of our lives.  In the meantime, we get to enjoy the cheeky-but-never-arousing Sex Tape, which seems determined to stay on the good old grounds of humiliation comedy as soon as naughtiness is involved.  To be fair, Cameron Diaz and an unusually-gaunt Jason Segel seem game to do just about anything in order to get laughs –still, it’s the supporting players who often get the best scenes, whether it’s Ellie Kemper and Rob Corddry sharing one of the film’s rare truly-naughty moments, or Rob Lowe playing up to type as a coked-out boss.  The film gets a decent amount of chuckles and grins, but often feels like a wasted opportunity by playing it as safe as possible given the subject matter.  As such, Sex Tape ends up in an unremarkable wasteland of conventional comedies, curiously forgettable despite the subject matter. 

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