It’s pretty easy to disparage Sex Tape, the second film in a year to feature product placement from Apple and YouPorn (the first? Don Jon). Its entire premise – a married couple (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) find themselves frantically hunting down stray iPads after their sex tape is inadvertently shared with friends and family – is predicated on a long list of implausibilities. The film features Segel and Diaz about as naked as possible without actually showing anything naughty, but is entirely unsexy.
Thing is, all of this would’ve been forgivable had Sex Tape been funny. All the pieces are there for a raunchy, farcical comedy: a bunch of talented comedic actors (Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper, Rob Corddry, Kumail Nanjiani, Nat Faxon, not to mention the two leads) and a narrative that – on paper, at least – should provide manic momentum. It doesn’t work for one simple reason – they forgot to write good jokes, and neglect the half-decent ones with strained pacing and poor editing. A drawn-out setpiece involving cocaine and a German Shepherd feels cribbed from Horrible Bosses and There’s Something About Mary, while the rest of the film primarily consists of dick jokes. If only they’d been good dick jokes.