Movie Review ‘iPad Product Placement’ (aka ‘Sex Tape’)


Director: Jake Kasdan

Cast: Jason Segal, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe

Plot: A married couple find that the spark has gone out of their love life. To spice things up they film themselves having sex. When the video accidentally gets uploaded to a shared network they scrabble to stop people from seeing it.

Review: Let’s talk briefly about the story. As with much of the USA’s media output, having children destroys your life. Segal and Diaz make this more silly than usual. They hump like bunnies in a lab having a chemical aphrodisiac tested on them. When they have kids their sex drive turns off like a switch has been flicked. After making a drunk an embarrassing sex tape they forget that looking up technical problems on Google is a thing and set out to claim all the iPads the video has been sent to, culminating in a cameo from Jack Black who stands in one spot and rattles off a bunch of rude words.

It’s as thrilling and original as you imagine it would be.

One thing did stand out for me though, and that’s the product placement. We’ve all long since accepted the fact that product placement is a thing that happens and yes it does add a touch of realism to the movie and so long as they don’t make a big deal of it than we can all enjoy ourselves. Many movies rely of product placement as a way to meet the staggering costs of high end film making, and if Aston Martin are willing to let James Bond drive around in a car they supply then they don’t have to buy a Bentley.

But then you get the movies that put so much emphasis on selling the product that you wonder whether the movie was created primarily as an advertising tool rather than a story they wanted told. In this case it’s the iPad (and to a lesser extent youporn.com, sold as the ‘caring’ porn website). The iPad is the true hero of this story, the thing that the characters truly love. It’s no wonder the couple don’t have sex any more, they’re to busy making sweet, passionate love to their iPads, the thing that completes them as a person. I guess we could have seen this coming…

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The first one features the distinctive shape of the electronic toy in front of the actors and directly behind the title, and the second the distinctive text bubbles of the Apple message app.

During the course of the movie we see Jason Segal’s character living in a rut, only becoming excited at the prospect of getting the new iPad. In fact, he gets two.

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While there’s a third already on the desk.

Because he likes nothing more than to give people iPads as gifts. As he says, it is one of the best gifts to give. He is frequently seen on his iPad from this point. Cameron Diaz could be standing in his doorway wearing nothing but her underwear and roller skates and he’d be to busy playing with his iPad to notice.

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Just like that.

It’s because he feels iPads are the best gift to give that this predicament comes about. It’s actually a realistic problem. A file you don’t want to be seen by the public winds up being automatically uploaded to the icloud data sharing system. This in itself is sold as a positive thing – it’s because of the GREAT APP that came with the iPad that he can share his files with the iPads he has given away! What a great feature.

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Part of the ‘giving people iPads brings joy’ montage.

Of course there’s the sex tape itself. How did such a troubled married couple even come up with such an idea? Well, Jason Segal is telling Cameron Diaz about how great the camera is on the new iPad and she realises that the iPad is the perfect solution to their problems! How does this scene play out? Well, Jason Segal tells Diaz (in the middle of making out) that he got his new iPad and is super excited about it. He then says something subtle like “it has a high resolution display, which means more pixels, and they upgraded the camera…” and then they make a sex tape. Yes, they film it with the iPad.

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Yes, the iPad. The single most awkward device ever used to shoot video. If you haven’t tried to do this yourself and given up then you’ve at least seen someone doing it and rolled your eyes at how much they obscured everyone else’s view while they hold aloft their wobbly book sized slab.

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We get a glimpse of the titular sex tape at the end of the movie and you can imagine how stupid it must’ve felt waving this thing around during sex. By the camera angles we can tell they must’ve spent some time face to face with one of the holding the iPad up between them. Look at this screen grab…he must have been balancing it on his shoulder:

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The entirety of the movie is about them running around to collect up all the iPads that they have given out as gifts. The movie is literally about getting iPads. The most intrusive and pointless slice of product placement comes when Segal flings his sons iPad out the second story window. On the way to the ground in comes free of its protective case when it hits the ground. Now I’ve seen iPads and iPhones break after falling less than a metre, even with a strong metal case around them. This thing hits the ground from the top of a house and is without a scratch.

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Just to highlight this point, Jason Segal picks it up and says “Wow, the construction of these things is just…INCREDIBLE!” The entire scene exists just for that line.

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Anything after this line is pointless because by now the entire project is an exercise in selling tablet computers. Not entertainment, not comedy…just selling electronics.

Rating: Nothing. Movies get ratings, not ads.

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“Wait…there are Apple products in this movie?”