Critical Mass: Is this a 'Sex Tape' you'd pay to see?

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Image Credit: Claire Folger

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are back together again. After starring in Bad Teacher, the 2011 comedy hit that topped $100 million, they reunite to play a married couple who’ve lost their spark. Kids, work, and age have taken their toll on what was once a spontaneous and prolific sex life, and Annie and Jay try to get it back by making their own homemade sex tape. But when their video gets uploaded to the Cloud by accident and sent to their friends, neighbors, and even their mailman, they have to race around town to prevent the naughty movie from becoming a scandal.

Directed by Bad Teacher‘s Jake Kasdan and co-starring Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, and Ellie Kemper, “Sex Tape becomes a caper not unlike Horrible Bosses or We’re the Millers or [insert another Jason Sudeikis movie of your choice here],” writes Leah Greenblatt, in her review. “It’s clumsy and wacky and intermittently amusing.”

Read more from EW’s review, as well as a round-up of other notable critics, below.

Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly)
Director Jake Kasdan, who also helmed Bad Teacher … , doesn’t quite seem to know what tone he’s going for, and the last half of the movie veers wildly between crude hard-R comedy and warm-hearted teachable moments. Blessedly, it’s also short…”

David Edelstein (New York)
“The film is only sexy by the vanilla standards of the American multiplex; at heart, it’s about as naughty as an old Disney movie with Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, and an unruly Great Dane. I liked its gung-ho slapstick spirit, though.”

Dana Stevens (Slate)
“[Sex Tape] is as timid, bland, and predictable as romantic comedies come—though it’s a hard movie to hate entirely, whether because of its game and likeable co-stars or because the script … just keeps trying so doggedly to sell its preposterous—and apparently technologically impossible—comic premise.”

Tim Grierson (Deadspin)
“Because Segel and Diaz have real chemistry—their big-dork personae complement one another—one hopes that the inevitable leak will generate comedic sparks as the characters engage in a madcap attempt at damage control. Funny thing, though: The sparks never come.”

A.O. Scott (New York Times)
“The humor has no bite, no friction, none of the transgressive thrill that Mr. Kasdan and Ms. Diaz (with an assist from Mr. Segel) brought to Bad Teacher. Sex Tape is a safe and cautious movie, intent above all on respecting the modern taboo against being mean.”

Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)
“About a third of it is a brilliant setup—but it’s for a joke that never happens, at least not completely. A comedy, especially a broad sex comedy, needs to go to extremes. But Sex Tape is a little careful and contained.

Ty Burr (Boston Globe)
“This movie isn’t really about sex, for all the naughty talk and glimpses of rear ends hairy and otherwise. It’s about middle-class, middle-aged anxiety—of not being seen as sexy anymore, as being seen as too sexy by the wrong people, of your naked photos proliferating like kudzu online, of getting old.”

Claudia Puig (USA Today) ▼
“Viewers seeking a fresh comedy, a seductive romp, or even just an escape from boredom for a couple hours will be left dismally unsatisfied by this stilted, nearly humorless, non-titillating slog. The booty shots are there; if only the laughs in this tone-deaf comedy surfaced as often.”

Stephen Whitty (Newark Star-Ledger)
“Diaz, who I think would probably win both gender’s vote for Best Person To Hit Happy Hour With, is a good sport and gets most of the laughs (as well as several shameless chances to show off her toned bod). Lowe is slightly, satisfyingly strange.

Justin Chang (Variety) ▼
“If anyone here deserves a prize for being a good sport, it’s surely [Rob] Lowe, whose entire performance is a not-so-veiled reference to the famous leaked video that almost derailed his career in the late ’80s.”

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (The A.V. Club) ▼
Sex Tape has countless ‘jokes’ about the Apple tablet’s surprising durability, excellent camera, sync-ability, and app selection; in many ways, it’s the most-developed character in the movie.”

Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal) ▼
“Instead of soft core, Sex Tape offers no core. No narrative core, just a not-bad notion executed execrably; no core of conviction, just two stars trudging joylessly through swamps of mediocrity.”

Sex Tape
Overall Metacritic rating (1-100): 35
Rotten Tomatoes: 19 percent

Rated: R
Length: 95 Minutes
Starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Lowe
Directed by Jake Kasdan
Distributor: Sony

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