The Naked Truth: Despite Some Funny Moments, ‘Sex Tape’ Comes Up Short

Film Review



Several critics have already pointed that the premise of Sex Tape, the new comedy featuring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz as a couple who accidentally uploads a sex tape to the Cloud, is flawed. Apparently, it would be easy for the video to be erased and the two wouldn’t have to run around town trying to retrieve the iPads they gave to friends and family members. But those critics miss the point. Granted, there’s some suspension of disbelief at work here but that’s not the movie’s problem. The real problem is that the storyline can’t simply be sustained for 90 minutes.

The movie commences with a montage of images featuring college sweethearts Jay (Segel) and Annie (Diaz) having sex in a variety of settings. Given that Diaz is 41 and Segel is 34, it probably wasn’t the best idea to try to use make-up to make them look young enough to pass for college students. Predictably enough, the two marry and have kids; they then essentially stop having sex because the children take up so much of their time. So to rekindle their relationship, Annie enlists her mother as a babysitter and the two make a sex tape as they engage in a marathon lovemaking session while downing shots of tequila. When the morning comes, Annie realizes they’ve made a huge mistake and asks Jay to delete the video. He agrees.

Problem is, Jay didn’t really delete the video. And because his iPad is synced to a slew of other iPads he’s given out to acquaintances (even the postman has one of the things), everyone now has the video. Slapstick jokes ensue as Jay and Annie scurry around in the attempt to scoop up all the iPads before their video goes viral. There are certainly some funny scenes here, especially when the couple goes to the home of Annie’s soon-to-be-boss Hank (Rob Lowe), owner of one of the iPads. But from that point on, the film limps to its conclusion and really stumbles when actor Jack Black makes a cameo as the owner of the Internet porn company Youporn and begins preaching to the couple about the meaning of sexual intercourse.

Segel and Diaz have pretty good chemistry here — they were both in Kasdan’s previous film, Bad Teacher. But they can’t keep this film from running out of gas. That said, the audience at the advance screening we attended, laughed throughout the film, suggesting that critics will come down harder on its flaws than the general public will.


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