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

Recent Headlines

in Sports

James leads Cavaliers past Bulls, 114-108 in OT

Fresh
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James poses at the NBA basketball team's media day Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Independence, Ohio.

James was at his best after struggling the previous night

in Sports

Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon looks on during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Joe Maddon has been hired as manager of the Cubs after the team fired Rick Renteria.

in Sports

Kentucky earns No. 1 nod in AP preseason poll

Kentucky men's coach John Calipari

Kentucky is No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the second straight season.

in Sports

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigns

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announces that athletic director Dave Brandon resigned during a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett will serve as Michigan's interim athletic director.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigned Friday, setting the stage for new leadership at the top of one of the nation's most prominent athletic departments.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP491836413688

A look at some of the biggest hits and best scores this week in sports.

Bellingham Traffic