Sex Tape

Sex Tape is not a dirty movie. Yes, there’s nudity and sexual content and language galore but this film is designed to tickle more than titillate.

Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) are a loving married couple. In college, they had sex and lots of it, as illustrated by a hookup montage near the beginning of Sex Tape. But, as often happens with married couples, work and kids seriously impact their carnal couplings.

On a night when the kids are at mom’s, Annie and Jay go for it. Do they ever! They shoot for every position shown in the book The Joy of Sex. After 3 hours they are exhausted.

The next day Jay becomes aware that he has unknowingly shared the video with several people to whom he had given iPads. Jay and Annie go on a mission to recover those iPads. Their close friends Robby (Rob Corddry) and Tess (Ellie Kemper) are recruited to accompany them.

In a brilliant casting move, a key player in the film is Rob Lowe, who famously starred in a real life sex tape 1988. In Sex Tape, Lowe is Hank, a narcissistic marketing guy who wants to sign Annie to blog for his toy company.

Since he has one of the iPads, they go to his house. While Hank and Annie’s conversation leads to his offering her cocaine, Jay runs through the house looking for the iPad while being chased by a German Shepherd.

After Jay is finally satisfied that the iPads are wiped clean of the recording of their coital marathon, he learns that it has been uploaded to the internet. He and Annie—and their kids!—drive to the website’s headquarters to break in and destroy the computer servers. What happens when they get there won’t be revealed here.

When Jay is handed a thumb drive that contains the last remaining copy of their sex tape, he and Annie finally watch the thing, portions of which are included in the Sex Tape film. There’s some funny stuff here!

Sex Tape is the perfect film for a married couple date night. (Even if you’ve never made a sex tape.) Segel and Diaz are funny and charming. Rob Lowe is weirdly amusing. Unless you’re prudish, go and laugh.




“Jeff, Who Lives At Home”—{He Needs to Obsess About Kevin}

I like this movie a lot but I especially like Jason Segel in the title role.

“Jeff, Who Lives At Home” is a 30-year-old stoner who thinks everything in life is connected. He is always looking for a sign. In fact, one of his favorite movies is “Signs.”

On one particular day, he thinks a wrong number phone call asking for “Kevin” is a sign, so he acts upon it and things begin to happen. Meanwhile Jeff’s brother (played by Ed Helms) and their widowed mother (played by Susan Sarandon) have things happening in their own lives on this particular day.

This movie about two brothers was written and directed by… two brothers! In JWLAH, Jay and Mark Duplass have an annoying habit of zooming in and out just a smidge during many of their shots. Instead of being stylistic, it is distracting. (Not sure if they’re trying to give it that “found footage” look with this trick, but it is not something to keep in their repertoire.)

Also, in a movie that is set in Louisiana, there are no noticeable southern accents—what the what? Except for one sequence shot on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the film could’ve been set in Evansville or Topeka.

JWLAH has many good laughs and nice stories tucked into its brief 80 minutes. Yes, it’s an indie kind of movie, but has nothing offputtingly arty about it. It’s rated R, but, except for language, doesn’t feel particularly R-ish.

Small movie. Big entertainment.

“The Muppets”—(TFGMOTY!)

This is the perfect fun movie for families. Gen-Xers who were kids when the Muppets weekly TV show was huge will love this movie. Boomers will dig it as well.

“The Muppets” has an old-timey feel. It is shot on back lots like you’ve seen in movies for decades. Some of the costuming looks like it came from a cartoon. The musical numbers are cleverly staged and are presented with lots of pizzazz. The music is a big part of “The Muppets” but does not dominate the film.

“The Muppets” tells the story of Gary and Mary (played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams) who live in Small Town, USA. Gary has a brother named Walter who looks very much like a Muppet. When Gary and Mary head to L.A. to visit the Muppet Studios, Walter is invited to tag along.

When they visit the rundown studios, they learn that an evil man named Tex Richman (played with panache by Chris Cooper) plans to destroy the Muppet Studios to get to the oil that lies below it. The only way they can save it is to reunite the Muppets and put on a telethon to raise $10 million.

Gary, Mary and Walter head first to Bel Air and the mansion of Kermit the Frog. They track down the rest of the Muppets who are all happy to join in the mission.  Except Miss Piggy, who is a holdout. No…wait…now she is going to join in the telethon!

You might guess the outcome of this crisis. You might be surprised at some of the cameo appearances. You might be amazed how much fun you will have at this movie.

A friend whose only child is now 21 bemoaned on Facebook the fact that she has no young kids to take to see “The Muppets.” No problem; go with another adult!

If you have been waiting for “the feel-good movie of the year,” look no further. This is it.