A movie with a title like Sex Tape implies a certain level of raunchiness. There is nothing PG about a long-married middle aged couple turning up the heat in the bedroom (living room, actually), particularly when the couple is comprised of equal parts Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz, both of whom are old hat at risqué humor. So, having seen the various trailers for the film - which come in red band, green band, and international flavors - one might understandably expect a great deal of bawdiness from it.
But every promo clip for the film released to date feels, well, kind of tame, no matter what rating they've been slapped with. Maybe that's because there's very little variation on them in terms of the way that they're cut and the selections of footage they repeatedly showcase - the dog on the treadmill gag, for example, is no longer funny after being featured in every single teaser - or maybe it's because even the most NSFW preview shies away from material that's too graphic.
The newest red band trailer, seen above, feels like little exception to the rule, though there are a few choice additional seconds here that hint at a movie that's willing to go all-in on its ribald promise. If you thought you'd seen the entirety of the "Segel vs. the German Shepherd" sequence already, you haven't, at least not until you've watch the preview; if you thought that a dedicated sex marathon didn't present plenty of opportunity for embarrassing personal injuries, think again. Could it be that Sex Tape has just been holding back in the advertising stage?
It's possible that writer/director Jake Kasdan has a few tricks up his sleeve for his follow-up to Bad Teacher, and hopefully he's keeping most of them hidden so that they're more effective in theaters. That said, he's got some stiff competition to contend with this summer, not only with Nicholas Stoller's Neighbors (arguably the crown ruler of vulgar comedy in 2014), but Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West and 22 Jump Street, too.
So can Sex Tape measure up? The film comes out in just a couple of weeks, so we'll find out soon enough. There's a balance to be struck in cobbling together a trailer; it's important not to give too much away, but it's equally important to give enough away to win audience interest. Right now, the sense is that Sex Tape doesn't have much to say for itself, but maybe Columbia has been keeping mum about how salacious this film is going to get.
Sex Tape starts playing in theaters on July 18th, 2014.