A few people have asked, given the fact that Sex Tape stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in the same movie again, if it’s a sequel to Bad Teacher. The answer is, thankfully, no. While the film is directed by the same man, Jake Kasdan does a better job with this film. It does help that he has better material to work with. Sex Tape  has its ups and downs, but is generally enjoyable, has its funny moments, and thankfully doesn’t try too hard to be something its not, sticking to its simple premise.

Annie (Diaz) is a mommy blogger. She writes about what most moms write about: her kids, her husband, her lifestyle since she’s become a mother, etc.  Annie’s blog is in the process of being bought up by a wholesome family company, run by Hank (Rob Lowe). Her husband, Jay (Jason Segel), works at a radio station where he receives new iPads frequently and gives away his old ones so that the people closest to him can also enjoy his music playlists. Inside the bedroom, Annie and Jay haven’t been having as much sex as they used to pre-children and they almost seem to have forgotten how and why they do it.

In order to try and bring the excitement and spark back, Annie comes up with the idea to film a sex tape. Three hours of trying out every position in the book “Joy of Sex” and Jay forgets to delete the video, much to the couple’s horror when they find out it’s been uploaded to the cloud and synced to every iPad Jay’s passed out to friends and family. Jay and Annie have to try and track down and delete the incriminating video before everyone sees it.

Cameron Diaz, in particular, isn’t a stranger to raunchy material and is always willing to strip down to her birthday suit. So it’s a little surprising that this movie, despite its R rating and title, doesn’t ever really cross the line. The film is less dirty and more funny in terms of the antics that ensue trying to get the video back without ruining their reputations and embarrassing themselves. It’s also a bit endearing in terms of the relationship between Diaz and Segel’s characters. Essentially, they’re just a couple trying to get their groove back, attempting to remember why they sleep together to begin with.

Diaz and Segel are strangely well-matched and while some of the jokes fall flat because they go on for too long or just aren’t funny, the movie is still enjoyable enough. The person who ends up trying to blackmail them is a little out there in the unbelievable category, Rob Lowe’s character is very Walt Disney-esque, complete with paintings of him in various famous Disney scenes, and the comparison is drawn from him being the head of a family company but has a not so G-rated hobby, which comes off as a little random. Thankfully, the film doesn’t rely too much on these types of things and doesn’t dwell on them for the sake of adding more hurdles for the lead characters.

The film isn’t perfect by any means. Somewhere in the middle, the stress of the situation leaves the couple venting about what bothers them about the other, but that gets thrown out the window a few minutes later, but it does touch on the deeper meaning of their relationship without being too sentimental about it. The film’s funnier moments shine whenever Segel and Diaz are interacting because their chemistry is really genuine. Overall, not a film you’ll remember forever and isn’t hysterical, but is entertaining and funny enough to hold your attention.

Release Date: July 18, 2014 | Director: Jake Kasdan | Screenwriters: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller | Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Ellie Temper, Rob Lowe, Ro Corddry, Nancy Lenehan, Harrison Holzer, Jack Black | Genre: Comedy | MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use

 

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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