The critics are unanimous - "Sex Tape" is as unsexy as it gets.
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s new R-rated comedy Sex Tape may be all about doing it, but it’s not doing anything for the critics. According to its stars, the main selling point of this latest answer to The 40-Year-Old Virgin is that it’s relatable.
Much like its protagonist in some scenes, Sex Tape's humor flops around a bit, before sputtering out completely.
When asked about the raunchier moments in a recent CinemaBlend interview, Segel explained: “I’m more excited about honesty. And I think that painful honesty makes audience members feel uncomfortable in a way that’s really fun.”
Not everyone agrees with him on the “fun” part. Justin Chang, writing for Variety, described Sex Tape as “naccountable drag - strained, toothless and far too tame to achieve the sort of outrageous, raunchy-titillating effect it's aiming for.”
The shared complaint seems to be that Sex Tape lacks some bite, despite its over-the-top humor and intended provocative subject matter (although marital sex between a straight, middle-class couple couple hardly falls under the domain of provocative under any standard, except maybe the FCC’s.)
The grievances don’t end there. Kate Angelo’s script, which could have rescued an overall bland story, is panned as “thoroughly preposterous and structurally patchy.” It isn’t hard to see why. At one point, Segel’s character pushes a single button on his iPad and sends the video “into the cloud”, allegedly enabling everyone to see it. Then the couple rush to retrieve all the old iPads they’ve given out as presents to contain the leak. Any 10-year-old with an internet connection could tell the writing team that that isn’t how the cloud works, while anyone with an independent income would raise an eyebrow at the “old iPads as gifts” plot device.
Sex Tape's awful script betrays the comedic talents of its stars.
Segel and Diaz, both seasoned veterans of the R-rated comedy, also fail to deliver the laughs. According to the Daily News’ review, “despite their snarky-funny connection in “Bad Teacher,” they feel mismatched as madly-in-love suburbanites Annie and Jay.”
If you’re looking for a sharp, easy-to-watch weekend film, this one is probably a miss.