Film Review: ‘Thanks For Sharing’ Delves Deep in the Lives of Recovering Sex Addicts

thanksforsharing

If there was a film that gave a genuine and light-hearted look at sex addiction, it would be this one. Thanks For Sharing is the feature directorial debut for screenwriter Stuart Blumberg of 2010’s The Kids Are Alright (which also stars Mark Ruffalo). It follows the lives of four recovering sex addicts in a support group, including Adam (Ruffalo)—a successful environmental consultant who has sworn off masturbation and sex for the past five years—and his sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins)—a 12-step-program role model who has successfully battled his sex and alcohol addictions. Adam begins to fall in love with Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow) and they learn about the trials and tribulations of dealing with sex addiction, both emotionally and physically.

Thanks For Sharing is a mixture of different themes: a primer on sex addiction, a romantic comedy, and a dark drama. Adam and Phoebe’s budding romance is full of witty banter that will leave audiences smiling—it’s charming to say the least. However, Robbins steals the show with nearly every line he delivers as he gets the most humorous quips in this screenplay, and Neil (Josh Gad) provides some comedic relief along the lines that a Jonah Hill or Jack Black would. He also pairs up with Dede (Alecia Moore, A.K.A. singer Pink) in an uplifting friendship. Who knew Pink was such a natural actress?

What is most striking about the film is that Blumberg reveals the underlying nature of sexual addiction to movie-goers. Compassionately, he sheds some light on how it should be treated as a disease just like any other addiction and tries to dispel the stigma that sex addicts are just perverts.

The last act of Thanks for Sharing, though, takes a bit of a tailspin and the mood of the film dramatically shifts, which teeters the balance of the film. However, for the most part, the laughs are consistent and much needed for such a dark subject. Since sex addiction is complex, there is no possible way Blumberg would have been able to cover all aspects of it in one film, but he still does so in a heartwarming and clever way. Thanks for Sharing is out in theaters today.

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3 thoughts on “Film Review: ‘Thanks For Sharing’ Delves Deep in the Lives of Recovering Sex Addicts

  1. This film does a great job portraying how certain “triggers” can seduce an addict into acting out. The description of the “phenomena-of-craving” and “cross-addiction” in particularly is exhibited well, and viewers are made to witness how easily an initial means of seeking escape from reality can set a “domino effect” into motion.

    Applause for the cast’s performances, however, in my humble opinion, this film could have benefited from re-scripting some of the female lead’s characteristics and dialog. The black-lingerie close-up in the make-out scene struck me as inappropriate to the general story, and instead of portraying the female lead as an overly confident gal who makes no secret out of the fact that she loves sex, it might have served the plot better had she been presented with a little more decency. And what about the offensive “bug-eating” scene that did nothing for the plot other than make me close my eyes the entire time. That said, I would have enjoyed this film much more without the “Hollywood” stigma attached.

    As a former prisoner of the dark side myself (all which can be read about in my recently published memoir “Dealing Flesh”), I believe this film has its rightful place in the universe. In fact, the world needs more movies that shed light on subjects we know so little about, allowing them to provide resources for women and men who travel a road of self-discovery and personal development, and for those willing and courageous enough to stretch their minds.

      • My pleasure. It just surprises me that it isn’t doing better at the box office. Then again, the subject matter isn’t for everyone. I know it’s here to stay and is not only dragging males into bondage by the masses but females too, and unfortunately some children, because they too can become addicted to pornography. So why wait on becoming educated on this very pressing issue. Keep up the good work Jean!

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