Thanks for Sharing (2012)

  • Time: 112 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Stuart Blumberg
  • Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad

Storyline:

Adam (Mark Ruffalo) has just reached the 5-year mark in his sex addiction sobriety with help from his sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins). New-comer Neil (Josh Gad) seeks out Adam’s help hoping that he’ll be his mentor, but Neil doesn’t have the same maturity and continues to harass women at work, on the street, and on the subway. Adam has also just met Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), who might be perfect for him, but Adam hasn’t been in a relationship since he recognized his addiction to sex, and Phoebe doesn’t date addicts. As Adam navigates the romantic relationship waters, Mike struggles connecting to his former drug-addicted son who has just returned home, and Neil develops a relationship with another woman in his sex addicts group, but a platonic friendship might be exactly what he needs.

One review

  • There are many reasons that a given movie can be called entertaining: It’s dramatic, it’s funny, it’s cute, it’s educational, it’s original, it has great acting, it has an interesting story, etc., etc. “Thanks for Sharing” (R, 1:52) has all of the above. It’s a movie that explores the very real, but little-understood problem of sex addiction. This is not a movie (or a problem) about people who can’t stop “doing it”. What this is all about is people who act out their sexuality in ways that are inappropriate and/or compulsive.

    The story follows three sex addicts who are in various stages of dealing with their problem. Mark Ruffalo is Adam, a man who is five years “sober” (as addicts call it, even if their addiction has nothing to do with alcohol), but has gone so far as not even allowing himself to have any intimate or even romantic relationships with anyone… that is, until he meets Gwyneth Paltrow’s Phoebe. Tim Robbins plays Mike, Adam’s sponsor and the leader of their recovery group. Josh Gad is both funny and heartbreaking as Neil, a single doctor who is just beginning to grapple with his addiction.

    Adam and Phoebe are adorable together, but we wonder if their relationship is doomed from the start. Phoebe tells Adam that she used to date an alcoholic and promised herself she would never be with an addict again… but doesn’t realize that sexual addiction is “a thing”. Adam has had such a problem with sexual addiction (and closed himself off from women for so long), that he may not have the capacity for a healthy romantic relationship. Mike has been a great help to Adam, but he has problems of his own. Mike has very high standards and shows disdain for everyone who doesn’t live up to them – including his adult son who has recently come back into his life and claims to have kicked his previous drug habit. Neil is in a race against time to get his addiction under control before he loses everything. He finds an unlikely friend and mutually-supportive relationship in Dede, played marvelously by Alecia Moore, better known as the rock star Pink.

    “Thanks for Sharing” sheds light on a problem also dealt with in 2011’s “Shame”, but is less voyeuristic and more accessible to a mass audience. This film is educational without being preachy, funny without being disrespectful to the subject matter and entertaining without letting you forget what’s at stake for each of these characters. Their problems feel real, the humor feels natural and the acting is just terrific. I thank writer-director Stuart Blumberg for sharing this very compelling film with us and give “Thanks for Sharing” an “A”.

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