* and 1/2 out of ****
Star and co-writer Jason Segel collaborated with co-writer Nicholas Stoller on the excellent romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. But their latest, Sex Tape, is a massive disappointment.
The premise is strong: a married couple (Segel and Cameron Diaz) try to spice up their romantic life by making a sex tape. But, the video is uploaded to a cloud, and through some convoluted plot mechanics, all of their friends and family receive the video.
The movie really sinks when Diaz and Segel engage in increasingly desperate efforts to erase the video from their friends’ tablets (they’re only certain that one has seen it due to a cryptic text message). When farce goes wrong, it just sits there on the screen and dies a slow, painful death. That’s what happens as Sex Tape crawls towards it conclusion (it’s approximately 95 minutes, but feels much longer). Farce works when characters take logical actions, only to see them backfire in a big way. But in Sex Tape, all characters behave in ludicrous ways that exist solely to further the plot.
This is all a shame, and not just because of the wasted talent of the participants. A funny, interesting movie could be made about married parents trying to rediscover their sexuality. But, sadly, Sex Tape is not that movie.