"Thanks For Sharing" (2012 release; 112 min.) is billed as a comedy-drama, but really is mostly a drama about three guys in a 12 step program to deal with their sex addiction. Mike (played by Tim Robbins) is the 'elder statesman' of the group, who seems to have everything completely under control. Adam (played by Mark Ruffalo) is the middle-aged guy who's been on the wagon for 5 years, and now meets and falls for Phoebe (played by Gwyneth Paltrow). Then there is Neil (played by Josh Gad), a twenty-some loveable slob who is desperately trying to get on the wagon. He befriends Dede (played by Alecia Moore, a/k/a P!ink). Last but certainly not least there is Danny (played by Patrick Fugit), the 30 yr. old son of Mike and his wife, returning home unexpectedly after years away. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this movie has gotten a lot of less than positive reviews by the so-called experts/film critics, and hence I went to see this with low expectations. As it turns out, this movie played out very nicely, in particular when staying away from the comedy aspects (which weren't all that funny), and instead focusing on the impact of addiction to lives and relationships. The performances were generally speaking pretty darn good, but for me the best work is done by P!nk, and even more so by Patrick Fugit, who you may remember as the wide-eyed teenager in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" back in 2000. Fugit is now a man, and his role as the long-lost son is the most memorable in the movie for me. Please note that the movie has a great soundtrack, both as to the songs (featuring the Heavy, Elvis Costello, St. Vincent, and Family of the Year, just to name those) and the instrumental film score, and both of those are available here on Amazon.
"Thanks for Sharing" opened on just 2 screens for all of Greater Cincinnati last month. The screening I saw this at was not well attended, and I'm being mild (three people, including myself), which did not bode well for its success on the big screen (in fact the movie disappeared after just a couple of weeks). But I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of those movies that finds a second life when the DVD is released. All that aside, don't be spooked by the so-called experts/film critics. "Thanks For Sharing" is a solid movie, and I would recommend you check it out, be it in the theatre if that still is possible or on DVD/Blu-ray.
Ok you hear that someone has sex addiction and you either exclaim "that's just an excuse" or "oh poor you." Of all the possible debilitating addictions that is a problem for people, it seems like this might be one of the ones that doesn't get a big piece of the sympathy pie. That was my way of thinking a little too. As I begun to watch, it was a little like "I wish I had enough sex to get addicted to!" But after watching Thanks for Sharing I found myself believing that this compulsion might be one of worst. The film tackles with the issue of not just sex addiction but the nature of having an addictive personally and how honest you are with others and especially yourself when trying to stay sober. The film deals with not just the problem of having too much sex with lots of people, cheating on your partner but those who fall into the category of sexual offender as well. It seems that the marketing for this film especially its cover design it a little ill conceived. This might lead a lot of people to be disappointed. If they sit down to watch a light hearted romantic comedy but end up watching a film about a bunch of tortured souls whom have to fight against a basic human imperative when dealing with the other big issues that surround it and lead them into the destructive behaviour that has derailed their life. Honestly this has to be one of the most honest and eye opening films I have watched in the long while and an additional surprise was that Pink is actually pretty damn good in this film and I actually look forward to see her in more films.
As the other reviewer has pointed out, there is nothing essentially wrong with this film. I say this because I think it fell very much into the 'rom com trying to be a bit serious so critics instantly hate it' category. Yes, Thanks for Sharing does have a theme at its core which is serious. And for the most part that core is treated with a shade of respect. Perhaps not the shade it should have been, but there is no making a mockery of sex addiction here. Which is, let's admit, a good start.
The performances definitely elevate the material. Whilst there are some intriguing plot lines (a doctor who can't stop himself from frotaging being one of them) there is a certain colour by numbers theme. However the acting, especially by Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad and, slightly surprisingly, Alecia Moore (otherwise known as the singer Pink) brings life to the scenarios we are faced with. Tim Robbins and Joely Richardson bring life to a story which has real spark, with Tim Robbins especially bringing his story line to the fore. The only cast member which disappointed me in the least was Gwyneth Paltrow (to me she seemed hopelessly miscast) but that was partly due to the underwriting of her role.
If you have a couple of hours to spare, I'd recommend this over many modern attempts at a similar genre. Where this falls down is the lack of bravery - this could have been a much more intriguing piece had the creators just stepped that bit further over the line in the sand and brought a higher level of realism. However, saying that, there are more hits than misses and, whilst nothing overwhelmingly memorable, I enjoyed Thanks for Sharing for that it was; a light meditation on sex, people, and the consequences of addiction.
Its a must see if you`re a Mark Ruffalo fan, he never disappoints, all the male actors are very good at making you feel for them, even though you want to dislike them. Its a funny, sweet, touching film, that could have gone horribly wrong, with a tricky topic. Its funny in all the right places and touching without being sickening or false. I really enjoyed it, just wanna give Mark Ruffalo a really big hug, but then I always do..