In this country, support groups exist to assist people with handing many different kinds of problems; some of the most popular, help people deal with drug and alcohol addictions. However, there are many other ones too, some of which may seem a little strange. There are support groups for people who have an Internet addiction. (How they find out about when the next meeting is in this digital age is a mystery.) There is even a support group for those who have a sex addiction. That one seem really off because an individual may ask, “Don’t we all suffer from that?” Sex addiction is addressed in the new movie, “Thanks for Sharing”, opening today, September 20, 2013 in South Florida.
The movie focuses on three main characters. The first is Mike played by Tim Robbins. Mike is also an alcoholic and serves as a mentor to a lot of younger people who participate in support programs. Besides helping to counsel so many other people, he is dealing with a family issue of his own, His son, a former drug addict, returns home after not being in contact for many years.
Adam, played by Mark Ruffalo is five years sober, but he still addends meetings regularly. Mike is his sponsor and encourages Adam to start dating. Adam then meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has quite the sexual appetite. Adam doesn’t know how to explain to Phoebe about his sex addiction past.
Adam sponsors Neil (Josh Gad), who is new to the program and is a genuine victim of his sex addiction. He’s a doctor, but can’t ride the subway without rubbing against women he rides the train with. His addiction affects both his personal and professional life.
Maybe it’s harder to identify with people who have a sex addiction or it’s difficult to feel sorry for them, but the audience never quite males a real connection with the characters in “Thanks for Sharing”. There is nothing wrong with any of the acting. Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow are great on screen together. (They did not share any scenes in “Marvel’s the Avengers”.) The movie even has some good dramatic scenes and tender moments, but not enough to pull at the audience’s heartstrings.
This is writer Stuart Blumberg’s first attempt at directing a feature length movie. Many screenwriters move onto the director’s chair; however, not all of them are able to successfully tell a story as a director. This plagues Blumberg on his first try at directing. Balancing three stories could be a challenge for a seasoned director and the problem here is the stories feel unbalanced. Put that alongside of the before mentioned inability to connect with the characters and you end up with an un-engaging story that you wish did not run almost two hours.
The best and more complete story of the bunch is that of Neil. His story is the only one that shows how difficult being a sex addict can be and Josh Gad really shows some good acting chops as he has some of the funniest and also more compelling dramatic scenes in the movie. Some of those scenes are shared with Pink, making her acting debut. You won’t need to seek out your own support group after seeing “Thanks for Sharing”, but you may be a little ticked off that you spent money to see it. It is rated R for language and some strong sexual content.