Redemption won’t come easily after you write something as ghastly as “The Back-Up Plan.” (Don’t remember that one? It starred Jennifer Lopez and isn’t “Out of Sight.” Enough said.) Surprisingly, scribe Kate Angelo takes a step away from the dumpster with “Sex Tape,” which also credits star Jason Segel and his frequent collaborator Nicholas Stoller (“The Muppets”) as writers. Maybe all the good jokes came from them; what matters is that the laughs are there.
Fortunately, the energetic, mostly painless movie frankly embraces sex (“The Girl Next Door” did that well too) and not as something that only Jay misses. Better directed than Jake Kasdan’s previous collaboration with these stars (“Bad Teacher”), “Sex Tape” is sexy and funny. Diaz gives Annie multi-faceted personality, and Segel’s goofiness proves ideal for lines like, “Here comes the penis ... That’s going to be the name of my album.”
The movie also can’t decide whether to treat the situation in a real way or in over-the-top, forced-comedic fashion. The subplot about Annie’s career as a mommy blogger succeeds only in being simultaneously absurd and idiotic. At no point is a young girl putting her finger in her butt a productive inclusion in a screenplay.
Still, you regret “Sex Tape” less than you thought you would. It understands what happens when nakedness stops being sexual, and why sex on the kitchen floor might be uncomfortable. Not just because the floor is hard, but because Annie can see the to-do list.
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