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Sex Tape Movie Review: Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz Capture Essence of Marriage and Blogging

Danelle Ice at Sex Tape Screening

Mommy bloggers are deranged sex maniacs.  No, that’s not right.  Mom bloggers are foul-mouthed neglectful matriarchs who exploit their families in hopes of financial gain.  No, that’s not right either.  There are so many ways the message of the new film Sex Tape could have gone wrong but didn’t.  Sex Tape hits the mark with realism and desperation that no married person leaving this film can ignore.

Last week I went to the advance screening of Sex Tape, directed by Jake Kasdan, to prepare for my interview with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, and Jake Kasdan the next morning.  I expected a funny movie about a couple whose home sex tape accidentally gets uploaded to the cloud and the misadventures that result from them trying to delete it.  I hadn’t been expecting such a thought-provoking film with a truth-capturing message.


Read my interview with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel:  Sex Tape Movie Q & A


In portraying the essence of a married mommy blogger with a busy family and professional life, writers Kate Angelo, Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller dug deep to present a real picture of this uncharted profession.

There are two possible extremes when creating this portrait:

1- Play up the wife’s dark side with extreme ambition, greed, sexual aggression, exploiting her family for money, crudeness, not getting along with her husband, and setting a bad example for her children.

2- Play up the wife’s sweet side with extreme passiveness, Betty Crocker-ness, lack of interest in sex, complete focus on her family with a choice to not have a career or any professional endeavors, innocence, and dedicating her time to only her husband’s interests.

Sex Tape used neither of these stereotypes, but instead created a very real woman blogger and married couple that anyone could relate to.  It’s not easy to work when you have children.  It’s not easy to keep a strong romantic connection with your spouse when you have children. The challenge for today’s men and women is not to fall prey to the busy atmosphere of grown-up responsibilities to the detriment of your fun-loving romantic relationship.

Sex Tape: The Good

Jason told me in the interview that he hoped people came away from the movie laughing about the funny parts but also having a real discussion about their sex life and making their relationship a priority. He hit the mark 100% with his writing and performance.

We laugh with them, we feel desperate with them. The audience really goes for a ride with Jay and Annie for better and for worse.

Sex Tape is hilarious. The sex tape itself is only about 4 minutes of the film (no frontal nudity is shown and no – there isn’t really any sex) but the costumes Jay (played by Jason Segel) and Annie (played by Cameron Diaz) wear in their video and the skits they act out are laugh-out-loud funny!  If you have apprehension about seeing the movie because of the name, get over it.  You shouldn’t allow the name Sex Tape to keep you from getting the moral of the story, which is as far from sexual as you can get.

I loved the message of this movie and how the portrayal of the husband and wife was right on. This isn’t a stereotypical couple, with a perfect marriage that shows no wear and tear. They aren’t g-rated either (they swear, drink, watch porn, etc.) but they are good people who really love each other.

Annie is presented as a real mom who has professional dreams of her own beyond just being a wife and raising children. She expresses the conflict and guilt she feels about wanting things for herself and trying to balance her own desires with her family responsibilities.

I also applaud the accurate portrayal of Annie’s image dilemma: she wants to be true to herself and to her readers by posting honestly (as with the post about the state of her sex life), while at the same time she is under pressure to censor her truth because Piper Bros. wants only the happy/clean/wholesome side of her to show. She also has to consider that when she blogs about her relationship, she’s giving away intimate details about her husband that he may not want known publicly.

This inner battle of a mother, wife and blogger between honesty-in-all-its-shades and best-face-forward is so purely captured by the film that it could not have been written or acted better.

Synopsis

Jay and Annie are happily married and well into adulthood with 2 children.  He runs a radio station, she is a mom blogger, they are loving parents with busy careers who manage to have time for the PTA, loving their kids and loving each other.  Sounds perfect, right?

At the outset, we get a glimpse into Annie’s insights on the state of her relationship from the blog post she’s writing about the remembering first time she and her husband saw each other naked.  Here is a clip of the blog post that starts the film:



She is in the middle of a discussion with Piper Bros., a corporation headed by Hank (played by Rob Lowe), to acquire her blog.  They want Annie to be  the female face of their brand and are adamant about her having a squeaky clean image in keeping with their brand’s image.  They are concerned about the last blog post about her sex life, but make it clear that if that kind of content is ruled out, their partnership is likely to go forward.

Jay and Annie’s morning routine has them both rushing to work and meetings, shuffling the transportation of the kids to school, and mentioning in passing that they’d really like to have sex sometime soon.  We hear about how they’ve been thinking about the fact that they haven’t been intimate for some time but that they’ve both been too busy to do anything about it or – for that matter – even bring it up.

Danelle Ice at Sex Tape JunketFor a spontaneous celebration of her pending blog sale, Annie decides to send the kids to grandma’s house and surprise Jay with a romantic evening of sex.  She dresses up in roller skates and a skimpy outfit to hint at what’s to come, but the roller skates prove to be too dangerous as she slips and falls hard onto the floor.  Undeterred, they try for their spontaneous evening of lovemaking but find that they are both thinking of other things (kids, work, etc.) and it’s just too hard to focus on each other.

After nearly giving up, Annie suggests that they do all the positions in The Joy of Sex book and videotape their session on Jay’s iPad as something new and different.  This requires that they drink shots to get up their courage, but they finally succeed in making a 3 hour video of their attempt.

Everything is fine until the next day when Jay receives an anonymous text saying that they liked his video.  Because of Jay’s advanced syncing software app, the video uploaded itself to the cloud and to all the iPads Jay has ever given as gifts to their friends, family, the CEO of Piper Bros., and even their mailman.

Jay and Annie start rushing to not only find out who is sending the anonymous texts but also to recover all the gifted iPads and delete the sex video before anyone else watches it.

** SPOILER ALERT **

They find out that the texts are from their best friends’ teenage son, Howard, who has uploaded the sex tape to a site called YouPorn and will publish it the next day unless they pay him $25,000.

Meanwhile, they go to Hank’s house and try to find the iPad they’ve given him, while Annie is shocked at Hank’s un-squeaky clean image and Jay is mauled by the guard dog.

In an attempt to thwart Howard’s blackmail scheme, they break into YouPorn’s office to destroy their servers.  After crashing their vehicle into the building, they sneak into the building with their 2 children in the middle of the night and set off the security alarms.  YouPorn’s owner (played by surprise guest Jack Black) shows up and confronts Jay and Annie, believing them to be spies and saboteurs from a competing company.

It’s only because of the fact that Black’s wife reads Annie’s blog that he agrees not to press charges.  He agrees to take down the video and the rush is on to make it to their son’s graduation in a few short hours.  Jay and Annie come together as a team and realize that it was never about the video, but about being honest and connected with each other and really making their relationship a priority.

**END OF SPOILERS**

Sex Tape: The Bad

Obviously, Sex Tape is an R-rated movie and not meant for children or families. That said, there are some elements in the movie I felt were not necessary and could have been left out.

Language: There is a lot of gratuitous swearing in the film that was not integral to the storyline or the dialogue. The most common language: F-bombs, lots of them. If you’ve ever seen a Judd Apetow film, you’ll know the level of constant swearing you can expect in Sex Tape. I don’t have a problem with Jay and Annie swearing, because it lends to the realness of their characters.  But the sheer amount of swearing was unrealistic and, at some points, actually took away from the story because it was just too distracting.

Teen language: Howard, a young teen in the movie, drops a lot of F-bombs in talking to Jay. Jay also swears at the teen. This placed me in a spot of uncomfortability, because even though he’s an actor, he’s still a child to me.

Drug use: Annie uses drugs in one scene with the CEO of Piper Bros. I was really shocked that it happened because it seemed out of character for her. It also seemed like such a major thing that it couldn’t have really been trivialized later in the movie.

Sex Tape opens in theaters July 18.

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FTC: This is NOT a sponsored post. Advanced screening and press junket were provided to Danelle Ice as a member of the press courtesy of Columbia Pictures and Sony.

Sex Tape Interview: Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Movie Q & A

Danelle Ice Cameron Diaz Jason SegelLast Wednesday, I was escorted by security into an advance screening of Sex Tape.  A woman guided me to my seat, where I arranged my pink leather jacket behind me in the comfy seat.  Sitting in the theater with my popcorn and bottled water, I wondered if I’d be leaving the theater 2 hours later having my expectations just quietly met or shattered.  Read my Sex Tape film review to find out and watch a special sneak peek.

Sex Tape, the new film written by Kate Angelo, Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller, directed by Jake Kasdan, stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple who have fallen into the rut of everyday life with kids.  This movie was of special interest to me as a professional blogger because Cameron’s character in the movie, Annie, is a mommy blogger in the process of selling her blog to a corporation.

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Thursday morning, I headed to the Sex Tape press junket at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills to catch up with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, and Jake Kasdan for interviews.

Interview with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel

Q: What was it like working with the 3 child actors?

Cameron: Gisele and Sebastian were unbelievable, they were just such good little souls and their parents were so sweet.  You never know what you’re getting with kids who act, you know.  You don’t know if they want to be there, or if it’s just the parents, or if they love it.

Jason: Or if they’re like (breaks out into song and dance).  Thank God I was never like that!

Q:  What did your friends and family think of this movie?

Cameron:  I don’t know.  None of them have seen it, really.

Jason:  Mine will see it tonight at the premiere, but I think they read everything that I do now ever since I surprised them with my p*nis in Sarah Marshall so they’re prepared and excited.

Cameron: And I think that our friends who have children can probably really relate to it a lot.  That’s what this movie’s really about.  The sex tape part is… 4 minutes of the movie.  The real thing is about these people who really love each other, they know that they’ve married the right person, they’re not having a hard time in their relationship, they’re just having a hard time having this part of their relationship be a priority.

And it’s the night that they decide to make it the priority to communicate that to one another and they do something that feels authentic to them in the fun department to them of let’s try to get that spark back. Because of technology, the sh** goes awry.

Jason: I’ve always said (over the past couple days) that one of the things that I think will be really cool for married couples who have been together for a really long time – from my experience there are a lot of couples who are both sitting feeling separately like they both wish they were having more sex and neither of them are having the discussion.

So I hope when people see the movie, the car ride home there’s an interesting phenomenon where they laugh a little bit about how crazy it was and the adventure of it all and then there’s a little bit of silence and this real discussion begins about how we haven’t been having as much sex as we like.  As I was saying that just now, I pictured that my parents are seeing the movie tonight and will be having that discussion on the car ride home.

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573Q:  What were your favorite scenes?

**SPOILER ALERT**

Jason:  It was really exciting to shoot with Jack (Black) because we’ve known each other for a really long time.  We had a great time every single day.  We were in almost every  scene together for most of it…

Cameron:  Except for when you’re with the dog.

Jason: But it was really neat to have Jack show up and come in.  He was just so on it and so funny.  It was really cool, it was really inspiring.  All the nights with Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper were so much fun.

Cameron:  They made us laugh so hard.  Practically everything they said was ad libbed.

Q: What about body doubles?

Cameron:  The flip was a body double.  That was not me.  Not for him.  He did the head stand, that was fun, but that’s it.

Q:  How does it work with keeping in touch after you’re done filming?

Jason:  Well, we keep in touch and say hope you’re doing great, a little text.

Cameron: We kind of move on.

Jason:  I think it’s one of the side effects of the intensity of making a movie is you work really hard together for a short period of time and then you both go on to do other things and other movies.  We’re really excited every time we get to see each other, if we find out we’re going to be in the same city or at a thing together it’s always super exciting but that’s sort of the sad reality of it.

Q:  For the child actors, what’s your advice to them about moving on after a movie?

Jason:  It’s really the responsibility, I think,  of the parents to make sure that their child is capable emotionally of being able to handle it.

Q:  What’s it like to work with somebody that you’ve seen naked?

Jason:  We weren’t really naked.  Unfortunately, we were covered with modesty patches so it was more like going to the beach.  It looks like a flesh colored bikini from Cameron’s side.  For me it looks like snuffleupagus!

Cameron: Because you know we weren’t making actual pornography tape, you know what I mean?  We weren’t having sex.  It was movie magic.  There’s a lot of angles that we took the time to make sure that there was arms in certain places so you couldn’t see the modesty patches, that kind of stuff.  For me and Jason to be walking around with each other like, naked, that’s not really like a professional situation.

Jason:  I was told not to  – by the law!  It was much more like a locker room vibe.  It was sort of like a couple comedians high fiving.

Q:  What is your opinion of mommy blogging?

Cameron:  I think it’s great, it’s a brave thing to do.  You’re putting part of yourself out there into the world and as Annie, my character, sees, the content of her experience in life is being bartered.  She’s trying to make money off of it at the same time, she’s trying to see how much of it she can give and be authentic to herself and also not be too risqué and there’s a lot of questions about how much you give when you’re giving of yourself.

You also want to inform people, you want people to relate to you because you want to feel that there’s people out there who understand you because it’s a tough thing to do being human and being a mother and being a wife, having these responsibilities.

So, I think that it’s definitely one of those things that I say is brave to do but it’s also a choice.  It’s also a decision and it’s a new world, we don’t know what comes of it, we don’t know how it effects us, positive and negatively.  You’re on the  cutting edge of and the beginning of this idea of the internet and blogging and what that means to our society and to the generations and to the children.

You’re revealing about their lives to people, you’re not just sharing your life.  That’s what happens with Annie.  She’s revealing things about her husband that maybe he doesn’t want revealed.  She’s talking about her children that don’t have a choice.  I think it’s an interesting study in sociology.

The fun and laughter of the movie continued into the interview and we really had a great time talking about the making of Sex Tape the movie.   Sex Tape opens in theaters today, July 18.

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FTC:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  Advanced screening and press junket were provided to Danelle Ice as a member of the press courtesy of Columbia Pictures and Sony.

4th of July Roundup – Food, Family, Fashion & Fun

4th of July Roundup Home Ever After

With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, it’s time to get your holiday preparations in order!  Whether you’re throwing a Fourth of July backyard barbecue or a picnic at the lake, there are so many red, white and blue patriotic ideas for food, decorations, and fun that you could fill up an entire Pinterest board and then some.

In this week’s  4th of July edition roundup,  we’ve got patriotic nail art, family activities, 4th of July DIY projects, recipes, and even Independence Day outfit ideas.

4th of July Roundup – Food, Family, Fashion & Fun

4th of July Picnic tablescapes, featuring red hot USA cupcakes.

4th of July Tablescapes 068

4th of July holiday housekeeping.

Patriotic Apple

4th of July party menu Texas style.

Family activities for 4th of July by Pam at Imperfect Women.

4th-of-July-Barbecue Imperfect Women

 

Super easy red, white and blue dessert for the 4th of July from Your Sassy Self.

wpid-picsart_1404352300937-1024x774 your sassy self

Easy Americana 4th of July nail art for beginners from Brooke at Mom to Bed by 8.

Easy-Americana-Nail-Art Mom to bed by 8

 

Firecracker whoopie pie bites recipe by Jessica at Young at Heart Mommy.

pop-rock-whoopie-pie-bites young at heart mommy

Celebrate freedom with a 4th of July patriotic scrapbooking free download from Moms & Crafters!

13 free moms and crafters

 

Red, white and blueberry trifle recipe from How Does Your Garden Grow?

RWB-Trifle-5 thefarminggirlgabs

 

What to wear to a 4th of July picnic – the perfect casual but patriotic summer outfit from Ava Loves Fashion.  If you’re in love with any of these items (like I am with those heart flag earrings!), click through to Ava’s post to find out where you can find those items.

4th of July Outfit Ava Loves Fashion

Patriotic Red, White & Blueberry Pound Cake by Crazy Nuts Mom.

red_white_blueberry-201x300 crazy nuts mom

Red, white and blue shoes DIY fashion project by Beth at Wandering Forevermore.

PicMonkey Collage2 Wandering forever more

Fourth of July rice krispie treats recipe from Building Our Story.

Kool-Aid Fourth Of July Rice Krispie Treat _Recipe 6 building our story

 

More Fantastic Fourth of July Posts!

Budget friendly 4th of July celebration ideas.

Fun 4th of July flip flops from Two Kids and a Coupon.

Yummy strawberry treats from Our Mini Family.

Easy DIY 4th of July decorations from When’s My Vacation.

Travel Thursday: Independence Hall from Back Home Again.

Red, white and blue patriotic fireworks punch from The Thrifty Couple.

4th of July handprint flag t-shirt DIY project.

Frozen stars watermelon pops.

Blue velvet cake balls from Five Monkies.

4th of July family crafts & food roundup at Joy Comes in the Morning.

What do you have planned for this Fourth of July holiday weekend?  Did you make your plans well in advance, or you a procrastinator waiting until the last minute?  Let us know your patriotic plans in the comments below.   Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend from all of us at Home Ever After!

Signature Danelle

Photo credits:  All photos used with permission by blog owners contributing to this roundup!

Dollar Tree Home & Mom Style Haul {Video}

Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to watch this Dollar Tree home haul and mom style haul video!

I try to make my way through the dollar stores at least once each season or holiday so I can get what I need for less than retail price.  In my town, we have Dollar Tree and the 99¢ Only Store.  I always find lots of amazing items for only $1. 

Normally I like to sort out the beauty, makeup, and style items and put those in hauls that are on the SimDanelleStyle channel.  This time, however, I included the beauty products because moms need to have style too!

Dollar Tree Home & Mom Style Haul:

 

If you don’t see the video above, click here to watch the video. Want more of my videos?  Subscribe to my Home Ever After YouTube channel.

Spring Pantry Challenge One Week Check In

If you’ve been participating in the Spring Pantry Challenge, you know we just hit the 1 week mark. How has your stockpile been dwindling? Have you encountered any interesting situations or problems so far?

I remember the first time I had a pantry challenge in my house to try to use up all my stockpiled food items. It was very difficult for me to get into the mindset of making substitutions to make a meal out of the ingredients I had on hand. In my everyday cooking I’m much more used to deciding what I want to cook, looking to see if I have the right ingredients, then going to the store to buy the rest of what I’ll need.

Having to substitute and work around ingredients was a real adjustment for me in the beginning! I felt like a spoiled kid whose mom was forcing her to eat gross meals I hated! Who can relate to that childhood memory?!

Even if you’re having a difficult time with your pantry challenge, dig deep and enjoy the savings from huge grocery bills right now. How much did you spend this week at the grocery store for just your perishable (and baby items)?

Stay strong and work on pulling all of the old food out of the back of every cabinet this week. If you’re continuing your stockpile use-up for another week, let us know how it’s going for you in the comments below or on the Home Ever After Facebook page. Use it up!