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'Sex Tape' should be better hidden

7/21/2014

The premise of "Sex Tape" isn't that hard to imagine. Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star as two parents whose love life is being buried under the weight of the daily grind. In order to stave off their marital boredom, they decide to make a sex tape. What follows is a mildly amusing journey that doesn't truly start until about halfway through the movie.

The premise of "Sex Tape" isn't that hard to imagine. Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star as two parents whose love life is being buried under the weight of the daily grind. In order to stave off their marital boredom, they decide to make a sex tape. What follows is a mildly amusing journey that doesn't truly start until about halfway through the movie.

Unfortunately, the comedic talents of Segel and Diaz mostly are wasted on sub-par, unimaginative writing. The type of jokes you would expect from a raunchy R-rated comedy about a couple making and accidentally distributing a sex tape are exactly the jokes that are delivered -- with assembly line precision and unoriginality.

If you've ever been on the receiving end of a "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?" joke while standing around the office coffee pot (said coffee being permanently free) then you know the exact tone and level of funny in "Sex Tape." The "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?" joke can be funny in the hands of a charismatic deliverer, which Segel and Diaz certainly are, but even the smoothest talkers can fail to get a rise out of stale and predictable material.

Furthermore, "Sex Tape" tries to be both sincere and cavalier in the same breath. The combination is definitely something worth shooting for, but it ends up being well out of reach for this half-baked idea.

As I've said on multiple occasions this summer, the sins of a comedy film easily are forgiven if said comedy actually is comedic. While not nearly as bad as "Tammy," there were audible snores coming from a lady a few seats down from me during my screening at 11:30 in the morning. Comedies should wake us up, not put us to sleep.

3 of 6 stars

Contact James Gerstner at james.gerstner@gmail.com.