News

REVIEW: Diaz and Segel will regret this ‘Sex Tape’

REVIEW: Diaz and Segel will regret this ‘Sex Tape’

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel star in a scene from "Sex Tape." Photo: Associated Press/Sony Pictures, Claire Folger

Genre: Comedy | Run Time: 94 min | Rated: R
Director: Jake Kasdan | Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry

By: George Wolf

With two kids, a job and a blog to handle, Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) have almost forgotten what it’s like to spend some quality time alone, so they decide to over-correct that situation by making their own sex tape. You know, kind of spice things up, put some pizzazz back into their marriage.

As seems to be the case generally, the sex tape turns out to be a bad idea, and the next thing you know, they are trying to retrieve the footage before it goes viral.

Segel and regular writing collaborator Nicholas Stoller penned this ode to poor decision making with Kate Angelo (The Back-up Plan), and among them they can’t decide on a reasonable tone any more effectively than they can muster enough jokes to keep 94 minutes of comedy afloat.

Director Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard) wants badly for the film to simultaneously be a raunchy comedy and hip-but-earnest love story – an unusual combination so perfectly realized earlier this year with the Stoller-helmed Neighbors. But where Neighbors burst with inspired visuals, unexpected comedic chemistry, generous writing and frenetic humor, Sex Tape just sits there, flaccid.

The pace is leaden, the laughs scarce and scattered. The film’s prevailing, toothless humor leaves writers and actors alike falling back on foul language whenever they lack an actual punchline.

Though Segel and Diaz – both comedic talents – make an effort, they are forced to work too hard to create momentum. Their relationship – the love, the squabbles, the tension over the tape mix up – rings false, giving the comedy no grounding.

Potentially interesting characters pop up and vanish, though the diversion is sorely needed. Worse still, in the one supporting character with any screen time, reliably hilarious Rob Corddry is hamstrung in a best friend role allowed only a single, weakly recurring gag.

Rob Lowe flails, though valiantly, with an over-the-top character that never meshes with the film’s internal reality and feels like part of a set of tacked on bits from another film entirely.

A pretty big disappointment, given the talent in front of and behind the camera.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Latest Stories

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, the character Neytiri, voiced by Zoe Saldana, left, and the character Jake, voiced by Sam Worthington are shown in a scene from, "Avatar." The film was nominated Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 for an Oscar for best picture. The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7.

A look back on some of Hollywood's most notable headlines.

in Music

This week’s top alternative tracks

hozier

LISTEN: This week's top alternative songs, according to the weekly Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

If regular people picked the Oscars, ‘American Sniper’ would win

In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Kyle Gallner, left, and Bradley Cooper appear in a scene from "American Sniper."

If ordinary Americans voted for the Academy Awards, the portrait of a sharpshooter in the Iraq war, would be the best picture winner.