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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Movies » Review: Sex Tape is a run-of-the-mill romp

Review: Sex Tape is a run-of-the-mill romp

By Raja Sen/
Last updated on: October 17, 2014 13:56 IST
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Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz in Sex TapeIf Sex Tape works at all, it's solely because of its cast, says Raja Sen.

Sex Tape is an oddly unsurprising film.

Save for the fact that leading man Jason Segel is now a trim fellow, it unfolds exactly as you already may have surmised from the trailer, the poster, the title: a couple makes a sex-tape and hi-jinks ensue.

Oh good gracious.

In a way, Jake Kasdan's unashamedly farcical film is a throwback to very old romantic larks, to those simplistic cinematic joys which would star Gina Lollobrigida and where a kiss would be a plot-point.

Sex Tape's stars, as the name promises, go further, gamely peeling off their clothes in the name of innocuous slapstick, but the film itself remains blessedly loopy.

The stars are very well picked.

Cameron Diaz, in epic shape for her age, still happens to be wearing the goofiest grin in town, and there's something strikingly wholesome about the way she embraces comedy.

It's hard to resist, really, and why even try? Getting swept up by her, o fellow audience member, works so, so much better.

Segel, who expresses inarticulate consternation better than most working actors, commits to the punchlines and treats highly physical comedy with a fluid grace -- while managing to come across truly clumsy. (Both actors, however, fine and likeable as they are, happen to be briefly upstaged by Rob Lowe, who's an absolute hoot.)

And yet, despite having the right partners in crime, this planned romp remains oddly unsatisfying.

A sex-tape that goes viral?

iPads given as presents? The Cloud (tm) that nobody understands? So, so much to work with.

Even without a killer script in hand, much fun could be had just by seeing the plot through the obvious way, taking the straight road, and letting the performers milk the laughs.

But Kasdan's film works only in spurts, and vitally lacks charm and breeziness overall.

Long stretches of Sex Tape feel unnecessary and even boring. The problem is one of warmth.

With jokes working in bits but never as a whole, there is a sense of detachment to it all; maybe it's Segel's presence, but there are times the movie feels like a sitcom episode, with the writers really labouring over the trope.

The result is decidedly cold.

In sum, then, Sex Tape is a movie that is occasionally affable and never quite quotable.

If only Kasdan's script was having half as much fun as Diaz and Segel try to conjure up, but this is sex under a wet blanket.

It isn't awful, there are laughs, but it's nothing you'd remember or recommend.

Then again, since when do we recommend sex tapes in the first place?

Rediff Rating: 

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Raja Sen/ in Mumbai