[ Director: Jake Kasdan; Screenwriters: Kate Angelo, Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel; Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper, Rob Corddry, Nat Faxon; Running time: 94 minutes; Certification: 15 ]
The premise of Sex Tape is definitely one that looks great on paper, but it feels far better suited, on this evidence, to a twenty-minute TV episode rather than a ninety-minute movie where the one joke runs terribly thin. For the first forty minutes of Jake Kasdan’s raunchy comedy we’re treated to some decent laughs as the enjoyably bonkers tone sets the pace for what’s to come – or for what should come, at least, before the whole thing in a matter of minutes slams into a narrative brick wall. It’s an oddly sudden realisation, the point where you just think, “Okay, you’ve made that joke, it was kind of funny, now can you tell a different one?”. It doesn’t, so we end up enduring the rest of the increasingly irritating film attempt and fail to make us laugh the same way over and over and over again, with only Diaz and Segel’s bickering and whining to fill in the gaps.
It’s a shame that such a great cast can’t elevate Sex Tape to at least mid-range comedy. Segel and Diaz are actually really good for portions of the film; the irritation of their interactions later on isn’t their fault, but the fault of the film itself just failing to give the audience anything other than the original punchline. The opening act deserves so much more than the second two give it, and really it becomes a wistful case of what could have been. Rather than hurt with laughter we sigh with boredom; somehow a two minute dialogue feels like three hours of watching a snail cross a road. A monumental achievement in all the wrong ways. There are traces of a really funny film in here somewhere, but that’s all they are. Otherwise, Sex Tape is pretty flaccid.