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 Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Dec 22

Fresh
pearljam

A look at the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Sports

Documents: QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has been cleared of the allegations he faced at a student code of conduct hearing this month.

in Sports

NFL playoffs rounding into shape & week 16 scoreboard

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) takes the hand off from quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Arlington, Texas.

All the scores from week 16 in the NFL.

in Sports

No. 1 Kentucky scores first 24 points, beats UCLA

From left, Kentucky's Aaron Harrison, Tyler Ulis, and head coach John Calipari pause for a moment during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Kentucky won 84-70.

Devin Booker had 19 points, and No. 1 Kentucky scored the game's first 24 points in an 83-44 victory over UCLA on Saturday.

in Sports

Washington & San Diego secure wins on Saturday

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks for a receiver during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chargers won the game 41-38.

The Philadelphia Eagles are on the brink of elimination from the playoff race after a 27-24 loss to the Washington Redskins on Saturday.

Bellingham Traffic