Movie Reviews

‘Thanks For Sharing’: Confused and ambitious take on sex addicts

By Wang DexianMovies - 26 December 2013 12:00 AM

‘Thanks For Sharing’: Confused and ambitious take on sex addicts

 
Rating: 2.5 / 5
 
Over the past year or so, there have been two movies that have dealt with sexual addiction: the ultra gloomy ‘Shame’ and the candid ‘Don Jon’.
 
Now, there is another movie dealing with a similar subject, ‘Thanks For Sharing’.

Like the other two movies mentioned, this is also set in the New York City area, but focuses on the interconnected stories of three guys dealing with addiction in a support group.
 
Much like Alcoholic Anonymous, sex addicts meet up together, sharing their problems and working together with buddies to help confront their problems.
 
Adam (Mark Ruffalo), an environmental consultant and recovering sex addict, has been “sober” for five years. Despite the urging of his buddy Mike (Tim Robbins), Adam is afraid to start dating again until he meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow).
 
Meanwhile, the return of Mike's son, Danny (Patrick Fugit), a former drug addict, to his household brings up issues on Mike's overbearing control.
 
Then there is Neil (Josh Gad), a doctor who has been ordered by court to complete a 12-step recovery process, is deeply in denial about his sexual addiction. During one of the sharing sessions, Neil meets Dede (Alecia Moore), who has just begun her own steps towards recovery.
 
The movie has a mix of both light and dark elements, which for better or worse, is both its strength and downfall. On the surface, the way the characters speak and its happy-go-lucky poster seem to suggest that this is a romantic comedy.
 
But is it, really?
 
NOT FUNNY

Many of the gags that are played out are a lot less funny because of the nature of addiction. You may laugh at someone getting molested on a train may, almost immediately, you will regret it.
 
And when the movie deals with the darker issues, things really get sombre. It almost morphs into a completely different movie and the tone is incredibly inconsistent. You're never really sure if you should be laughing or crying along to what is happening on screen.
 
This debut movie from director-writer Stuart Blumberg really stands out during the little quiet moments that the characters share with each other. Much of that is due to his great ensemble cast, with Robbins and Ruffalo lifting up some meddling and uninteresting dialogue by simply appearing on screen.
 
Alecia Moore, better known as Pink to people who listen to music on occasion, has a particularly noteworthy performance as Dede. She is the perfect kind of natural, a little brash and rough around the edges but able to deliver a performance that is seemingly oblivious to the presence of a camera.
 
So despite the muddled nature of the script, the performances are enough to get you to care about the characters.
 
Drop by for a session if you enjoy some great actors working together with glee onscreen.