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Movie review: Lots of raunch, not many laughs in 'Sex Tape'

Published July 18, 2014 9:03 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Like the object of the title, the raunchy romantic comedy "Sex Tape" starts off with a strong idea but doesn't go as well as everyone involved hoped.

Radio programmer Jay (Jason Segel) and mommy-blogger Annie (Cameron Diaz) are finding it difficult, 10 years and two kids into marriage, to find the sexual spark they used to have. Annie has the notion that the couple should make a home porno — trying every position in Alex Comfort's "The Joy of Sex" in an epic three-hour session.

No problem, until the next day when Jay realizes the video has been copied to iPads he gave to all their friends. Thus begins a frantic odyssey in which Jay and Annie try to retrieve the iPads and erase the video from each.

Alas, the script — by Kate Angelo ("The Back-Up Plan") and thoroughly rewritten by Segel and his writing partner Nicholas Stoller ("The Five-Year Engagement") — doesn't generate all the laughs a premise like this could deliver, and it comes to a dead stop when Jay and Annie visit the super-positive CEO (Rob Lowe) of the squeaky-clean company bidding to buy Annie's blog.

Director Jake Kasdan gets good comic chemistry out of Diaz and Segal, with whom he worked on "Bad Teacher," but only sporadically finds ways for them to shine.

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'Sex Tape'

Opens Friday, July 18, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use; 94 minutes.