Rated R 3 1/2 stars of 5
“Thanks for Sharing” is in limited release today, so I went to the theatre in Fair Oaks and climbed the 12 steps to see it. That’s what the movie is about: those “steps” and the meetings and process of recovery for addicts – sex addicts.
Adam (Mark Ruffalo from Shutter Island) has been “sober” for five years. In this world that means no masturbation or sex outside of a committed relationship. The movie was billed as a comedy, but at that point I thought it moved over to horror. I agreed with Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow from The Avengers) when Adam told her about his addiction and she said, “Is that a real thing or just something guys say when they get caught cheating?”
Now, after seeing the movie, I understand why Neil (Josh Gad from Jobs) said, “Yeah, it’s not funny anymore.” So, it’s not really a comedy, although the rest of us can snicker until we come face to face with the addict we love and find out they do not have control over this thing – or their thing…
I get the filmmaker’s point; we all hide our drama with humor. And the movie does provide just enough sugar to make the medicine go down. For the characters, it means looking at themselves in the mirror and knowing they are not “master of their domain” (Seinfield, Season 4, Episode 11 – come on, I know you saw that one). The rest of us sat there in the dark theater knowing we harbor our own perverted secrets and compulsive behavior. I know I am addicted to semi-precious metaphors and “Benny and Joon” references.
I expected a rom com from Ruffalo and Paltrow, who are excellent here. And that’s what you get if you laugh about the great person you are dating when you find out they have a deviant sexual history and they are still battling those demons.
I give Writer/Director Stuart Blumberg credit for providing a nice portrait of this world and then showing enough for us to know this is not a nice place to be. The people and their stories got under my skin, but in a good way. If this were a Woody Allen movie, he would have stopped 20 minutes short of the end and just left these people with their pants down. Instead, Blumberg lets us know that we don’t go through this world alone, and no matter how twisted you get, there is somebody who has been where you are and that person will be there for you.
So if you think that addiction should not be laughed at, step up and see this movie that I am giving 3 ½ stars out of 5. If you want to snicker at sex addiction, then I guess you can see it as well.
Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker.
Here is a link to his movie review site: http://bashmovies.wordpress.com/