Dir: Jake Kasdan. US. 2014. 94mins
Though the comedy in Sex Tape is more romantic than the raunchy title suggests, this reunion of Bad Teacher stars Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz and director Jake Kasdan is still an entertainingly racy farce whose affable talent carries the film through some comedic weak spots.
The comedy starts out fairly dry and understated, with the nicely paired Segel and Diaz doing a lot with looks and timing.
Matching the $100m that Bad Teacher grossed in the US and Canada in summer 2011 won’t be easy, but worldwide distributor (and Bad Teacher studio) Sony should be able to leverage the reunion enough for a good domestic take from a July 18 release slot that gives the film little R-rated comedy competition. International markets - in which Bad Teacher took $116m - could be even more receptive, given the subject matter and tone.
Written by Segel, his Five-Year Engagement collaborator Nicholas Stoller and Kate Angelo (The Back-up Plan), the film introduces Jay (Segel) and Annie (Diaz) as a student couple with a voracious appetite for sex. Ten years later, however, the demands of parenthood have taken their toll and in a bid to rediscover their sex life Jay and Annie make a sex tape.
When the footage accidentally gets out into cyberspace, the couple, helped by their best friends (played by Rob Corddry from The Way Way Back and Ellie Kemper from Bridesmaids) embark on a wild night of chasing down all remaining copies. And in the process, of course, they learn some lessons about keeping relationships going into later life.
The comedy starts out fairly dry and understated, with the nicely paired Segel and Diaz doing a lot with looks and timing. Things get broader as the story unfolds and though there’s a decent supply of funny moments the film sometimes milks its comic situations a little too long.
Segal and Diaz get support later in the proceedings from Rob Lowe, playing a creepy family values businessman, and Jack Black, playing, in an uncredited cameo, a kind hearted online porn mogul.
Production companies: Escape Artists, Columbia Pictures, MRC, LStar Capital
International distribution: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Producers: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch
Executive producers: David Householter, Jason Segel, Jake Kasdan, David Bloomfield, Ben Waisbren
Screenplay: Kate Angelo, Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller
Cinematography: Tim Suhrstedt
Editor: Tara Timpone
Production designer: Jefferson Sage
Music: Michael Andrews
Main cast: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe