THANKS FOR SHARING
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
OCTOBER 19, 2013
Often, sex addiction is misunderstood or unrelatable. However, in the directorial debut of writer Stuart Blumberg (“The Kids Are All Right”), “Thanks For Sharing,” Mark Ruffalo takes front and center as our protagonist Adam, a sex addict that has been clean for five years. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, sex addicts share in groups and thrive in the buddy system to kick their temptations. These people’s jobs, health, social status, and self-esteem are on the line. The idea of sex addiction becomes real as you feel for every one of these characters. Ruffalo offers a perfect performance in the film, as he struggles to stay “sober” while facing a new, and very sexual relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow, who has never looked better.
Following the typical romantic comedy story arc, complete with lying, finding out, and reconciliation, the film reaches some dark moments and benefits from every single one. Tim Robbins and Josh Gad offer up the film’s intersecting storylines, both recovering sex addicts dealing with different parts of the addiction spectrum. Robbins’ character is a massive support system for addicts, mentoring many different people, but skipping some duties as a husband and former-deadbeat dad. As Robbins’ son, Patrick Fugit offers up one of the most dominant performances, and even though his arc delves into the spectacular, his outbursts and reactions are the highlights of his scenes. Josh Gad then plays an immature sex addict, not ready to take responsibility for his actions. Facing the loss of a dream job as a doctor, he confronts himself as well as a fellow addict, played by Alicia Moore (Pink). Even though this often feels like the lower tier storyline, there are plenty of emotions to be explored. Plus, it provides some much needed comic relief.
The relationships in the film feel real and come from a very natural place. Very similar to the writing of “The Kids Are All Right,” the dialogue reads very logical and cohesive, never wasting breath and developing the characters. “Thanks For Sharing” tackles the world of sex addiction from a straightforward standpoint and spells out the distinction of what this “disease” really is. With several outstanding performances, an emotional connection to the characters, and the material, the film accomplishes so many things without adhering to either the dark world of addiction. Still, it straddles a line in between that is entertaining from beginning to end.
September 20, 2013
(for language and some strong sexual content)
Miranda de Pencier