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Sex Tape

by Leonard Maltin
July 18, 2014 4:04 AM
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Photo by Claire Folger - Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Cameron Diaz looks especially good in Sex Tape, from all conceivable angles, but unlike some of her other recent comedy vehicles (Bad Teacher, The Other Woman) this one actually offers laughs, plus a compatible costar in Jason Segel.

For a goofy, R-rated comedy the initial premise is surprisingly credible: a happily married woman writes a “mommy blog” and wistfully remembers how she and her husband used to have great sex, all the time, until parenthood took the spark (and opportunity) out of their lives. One night, with their two kids away at Grandma’s house, they try to rekindle that magic. Nothing seems to work until he proposes that they video themselves enacting every position described in Alex Comfort’s book The Joy of Sex. Unfortunately, he fails to delete the video from his iPad and it spreads like wildfire to a multitude of iPads he’s recently given to friends and acquaintances.

At this point, the movie becomes a full-out, R-rated farce: frantic, sometimes overly frantic, but often quite funny, as Diaz and Segel gingerly approach various iPad owners in the loop. One of them is Rob Lowe, a “family values” mogul who’s about to buy Diaz’s blog for big bucks—if they can only keep him from watching the video.

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Photo by Claire Folger - Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Much silliness ensues, but the movie rarely runs out of steam. Diaz and Segel are a good match, with Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper as their best friends. Segel and his frequent writing partner Nicholas Stoller get screenplay credit alongside sitcom writer-producer Kate Angelo, who originated the story.

Director Jake Kasdan doesn’t miss a single laugh opportunity, and if the film is a bit ragged at times, its likable stars smooth over most of the rough spots.

Best of all, Sex Tape doesn’t wear out its welcome. With high energy and a touch of discretion (to please a wide audience and avoid an NC-17 rating) it accomplishes everything it sets out to do in an hour and a half. It may not be cinema for the ages, but it’s fun.




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More: Film Reviews, Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel

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  • Jason | July 28, 2014 3:42 PMReply

    Wow...this review by Leonard Maltin tells me that I shouldn't rely on his reviews AT ALL moving forward.

  • Bubba | July 19, 2014 7:15 PMReply

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion Leonard and about 95 per cent of the time I agree with you but I found this one simply dreadful, even surpassing "Tammy" from a couple of weeks ago as the worst film of the year so far. The yahoos in the audience seemed to enjoy it when they weren't taking or texting though. Different strokes for different folks…I guess!

  • Indycwf | July 19, 2014 7:34 AMReply

    It accomplishes nothing it sets out to do. It certainly will rank as one if the worst movies of the year by most. What movie were you watching Leonard?

  • Framemaker | July 19, 2014 12:23 AMReply

    Sorry Leonard, you miss the mark on this one. Sex Tapes is the most juvenile, moronic, exasperating and contrived film I attempted to see in a very long time. I honestly tried to find something to keep me from leaving but after about 45 excruciating minutes I could not stay in my seat and had to leave. The theater was kind enough to give us return passed for another show.

  • Andre | July 24, 2014 1:44 AM

    Dear J.T.G. Madsen

    Your comment name is funnier than this movie, because truly, it's funnier than this high concept idea. I have two things:

    1. I read this script way back when it was in development, and it was funny, but as you can see(you can't because you didn't see the film), it's missing the wit and honest charcter development compared to any good comedy this year because it's obsessed with pleasing a broad stupid studio audience.


    2. You can ask a theatre for it's money back because any good restaurant, even those you've been frequenting for years, respects it's customers.

    Sorry Leonard, this movie actually out stays it's welcome after it's opening sequence, squanders it's talented cast with bad dialogue and unrealistic situation comedy dating back to the 90's(and I'm not talking "Spanking the monkey") instead subtitutes laughs for nothing more than mindless garbage for anyone under the age of 30.

    Movie watchers be warned.

    P.S. Jack Black is more than funny and brilliant in his all too brief cameo

  • J.T.G. Madsen | July 19, 2014 11:45 AM

    I haven't seen Sex Tape yet, but sure do look forward to it based on the trailer, Segel's involvment and now Maltin's favorable review.
    - Asking a theater for a new ticket because you don't like a movie is an absurd request, like refusing to pay for food you've eat in a restaurant because you've become gassy or take a blue shirt you've bought 10 years ago back to a store, because now blue isn't your color anymore.
    Don't go to the movies, if you expect to always be pleased, because that's not gonna happen, and you can't blame the cinemas for it. Grow up.

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