Very few movies can maintain a joke for an entire film. And very few movies can maintain a series of sarcastic, juvenile, ridiculous, and offensive ones without losing its charm about ten minutes in. But director Jake (Bad Teacher, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) Kasdan succeeds where countless others have failed so miserably before him. Despite its lackluster performance at the box office thus far, Sex Tape is as full of laughs as it is heart.
The director re-teams with lead actress Cameron (Being John Malkovich, Shrek) Diaz and lead actor Jason (How I Met Your Mother, I Love You Man) Segel for a second time, and he appears to have found his muse. Or rather, a couple of muses. The on-screen chemistry is immediate and perfect, providing a silly story with the necessary wit and charismatic banter to carry the plot through several shaky situations. Added star power comes in the form of comedic performances by Rob (Brothers & Sisters, The West Wing) Lowe, Rob (Children's Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine) Corddry, and Ellie (Get Him to the Greek, 21 Jump Street) Kemper. There is a famous surprise guest cameo that is too good to spoil, but just know that it generates some more laughter when the story seems to have finally reached its peak in terms of ridiculousness.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this summer comedy is the fact that it is surprisingly romantic. For a film whose previews seemed like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch gone terribly wrong, there was an unbelievable amount of scenes that proved that Segel really is someone every guy wants to hang out with and Diaz really is someone every guy wants to date. And vice versa. The humor is crude, rude, and socially unacceptable, but when when Rob Lowe's character shows off his painting of himself reenacting a scene from The Lion King and Diaz and Segel give each other a high-five in the midst of a highly romantic moment, the most prudish audience members will be found audibly laughing right along with the rest of us.