Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel's on screen chemistry was well established in the 2011 movie "Bad Teacher," in which gold-digger Elizabeth Halsey, portrayed by Diaz, is pursued by the nice-guy gym teacher played by Segel. Their chemistry is further established in the July 2014 release "Sex Tape," which brings the couple back to the big screen for a romantic comedy with a twist. "Sex Tape" shows that Diaz and Segel are more than willing to push boundaries to create a movie with top notch hilarity that heats up the audience with just the right amount of sizzle.
In "Bad Teacher," Diaz brings a flirtatious undercurrent to her lead role as the disreputable Ms. Halsey, who pushes boundaries wherever she goes. When Elizabeth Halsey's engagement to her wealthy fiance, Mark, ends unpleasantly, she sets her eyes on substitute teacher Scott Delacorte. At the same time, she uses her feminine wiles to manipulate all the men with whom she comes in contact. Lurking in the background is Segel, in the role of the gym teacher Russell Gettis, who has an infatuation with the titillating Ms. Halsey. Although Diaz and Segel share only a few scenes, their chemistry is obvious, moving past the lighter flirtations Diaz shares with others throughout the film. Russell and Elizabeth share a few one liners and a lot of character development, and in the end, their roles are critical to the message of the film.
"Bad Teacher" director, Jake Kasdan, reunites Diaz and Segel in "Sex Tape" giving the duo plenty of screen time to develop their chemistry further. In "Sex Tape," Diaz and Segel play Annie and Jay, a typical married couple with children who are looking to spice up their sex life. They decide to spend an evening filming a sex tape in which they recreate every sexual position in their favorite sex manual. Unfortunately, the contents of the video become inadvertently synced to several previous devices the couple has owned. The couple has numerous opportunities to grow closer as they spend a whirlwind night working together to prevent anyone else from ever viewing their erotic adventure.
The chemistry in "Sex Tape" begins with a series of flashbacks to the early days of Annie and Jay's relationship. As Annie laments the current state of their sex life, scenes of their initial attraction play for the audience. A sexy seduction scene involving Annie on roller skates is quick to follow. Diaz and Segel's chemistry is even more obvious in the myriad of scenes included in their sex tape footage. The use of humorous props and improbable positions, including back flips and headstands, brings a bit of light-hearted humor to their very sexual connection. This connection is only deepened in the rest of the movie. Scenes involving chases, deception and over-the-top problem solving are interspersed with moments of intense chemistry as the pair's connection grows.
Diaz and Segel bring Annie and Jay to life as a couple whose shared problem is the ultimate glue that holds them together. They need each other to prevent key people in their lives, such as parents and bosses, from watching the intimate details of their outlandish sexual escapades. This shared mission brings out multiple layers of affinity that build the chemistry one spark at a time. "Sex Tape" shows Diaz and Segel at their sexiest without letting go of a romantic ideal that moves beyond their bedroom antics.
In addition to acting in the film, Segel was one of the screenwriters who worked on "Sex Tape," along with Kate Angelo and Nicholas Stoller, and his voice helps carry the action and the chemistry between the two leads. Segel has a history of penning scripts that pair comedy with deeper emotions, and his work with director Kasdan keeps "Sex Tape" moving at a pace that provides the right level of erotic suggestiveness to turn up the heat without stalling the plot or diminishing the movie's deeper themes. Segel's previous screenwriting work for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Muppets" and "The Five-Year Engagement" showed similar abilities to fuse humor with the deeper side of human emotions for scripts that combine romantic comedy with a hint of drama.
Diaz and Segel are a pleasure to watch on the big screen together. In "Sex Tape," they bring Annie and Jay to life with their realistic portrayal of a couple who is very much in love and struggling after 10 years to get their sex life back to the place it was when they first met. No matter how improbable the sexual moment, Diaz and Segel make it work with a unique blend of humor and eroticism.