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Originally published Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM

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The joy of ‘Sex Tape’? It’s short and the popcorn is good

A review of “Sex Tape,” starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald rates the comedy two stars out of four.


Seattle Times movie critic

Movie Review ★★  

‘Sex Tape,’ with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe. Directed by Jake Kasdan, from a screenplay by Kate Angelo, Segel and Nicholas Stoller. 100 minutes. Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use. Several theaters.

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Well, it’s not like the title doesn’t tell you exactly what you’re getting. Like “Snakes on a Plane,” “Sex Tape” is about nothing more or less than what it promises: There’s a sex tape, see, and a couple of nice people try to stop other people from getting a peek at it, and ... credits. Sometimes, movies enchant and enlighten us about the human condition, and some nights, you go to “Sex Tape” and hope the popcorn isn’t stale.

Nonetheless, “Sex Tape” rises to meet its very low bar; the performances are serviceable and often cute, and I remember laughing a couple of times. (So disposable is this movie that as I write this, a little more than 12 hours after seeing it, I can feel it fading away.) Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz find a pleasantly ditsy chemistry as Jay and Annie, a married couple with kids who find their relationship missing a little spice. So, out comes the tequila, and the iPad, and a copy of “The Joy of Sex” — and the next day, due to Jay’s technological confusion (“Nobody understands the cloud! It’s a mystery!”), they learn that their private video is now public. Panic, and a lot of driving around and arguing, ensues.

Despite the in-jokey casting of a rug-wearing Rob Lowe (himself a survivor of a 1980s sex-tape debacle) as Annie’s potential employer, “Sex Tape” really only has one joke, and it wears thin pretty quickly. Jay and Annie are sweet but not particularly interesting, even when they’re running around porn companies in the middle of the night, under the confused belief that they might somehow steal their tape back. (Except ... it’s not really a tape? And how would they steal it? Everyone in this movie is a little confused.) You never doubt where “Sex Tape” is going, only whether the trip is worth taking.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com



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