Open relationship couples boning left and right while documenting every frame get into trouble when the tapes go missing and the accusations fly. Mainline Releasing drops another Cinemax softcore flick with Sex Tapes, a provocative title while the actual plot is far more dramatic than sensational.
Sex Tapes is another Tina Hawthorne script (who has by far become my favorite softcore script writer, even her wide misses are interesting!), you can expect a lot of talking and relationship issues to come to the surface. As characters stress over the missing sex tapes and their own relationship issues, the arguments get personal and circular, so a lot of the recap portion is just summarizing the arguments. But much of the talking feels real, like you would overhear at a coffeeshop while couples are arguing. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels a bit too real, while other sections are a bit too staged. This all combines with a lack of resolution that makes Sex Tapes disappointing, but an interesting disappointing.
Sam and Lisa seem to have the perfect open relationship, they love each other and have gobs of money and are ringleaders and hosts to the other swinging couples. But things aren’t what they seem. Sam is in a secret affair with Alexis, a violation of the trust rules. Lisa suspects something is going on, but doesn’t have proof. Sam is very controlling, his video documentation of all the sex action is part of his need to be in charge of everything, including recording and editing things to perfection. It’s also why he feels he can cheat on Lisa, because Sam can do whatever he wants to do.
Carrie and Tyler argue constantly and have clear trust issues, which is odd because they’re also in open relationship which requires trust. But their fights never last long and always end in them making up. There is also a hint of Carrie having poor self image, which might explain some of the problems. Tyler is more sedentary, spending long portions of the film just sitting on the couch. His passiveness seems like it would cause Tyler to get upset about his lack of action, but that isn’t even discussed.
Alexis and Brent have the most damaged relationship in that their goals are completely opposite. Brent is becoming more important in his law firm and realizes the days of having sex on camera needs to stop. Alexis has no intentions of stopping, nor of stopping her affair with Sam. Brent is unaware of the affair, and seemingly unaware that Alexis has even had sex with anyone else, describing their participation as just watching others have sex while they as a couple have sex. Brent is no saint, he does cheat on Alexis before he has confirmation that she is cheating on him. But the fact his wife disappears for long periods with Sam should be a tip off even the blindest man would get.
With these three couples, the damage is already there, and when tapes go missing and all the secrets and lies get exposed in the open, it is not a pretty sight. Good thing there are Sex Tapes that recorded everything!