In one of the many meetings showcased in the film Thanks For Sharing, one recovering addict describes their sex addiction as “trying to quit crack, while the pipe is still attached to your body”. Though I have never personally experienced, nor have I had the experience of meeting an openly admitted sex addict, I’m sure many young people today wouldn’t see it as a ‘disease’ as described in the movie, but perhaps more of a blessing.
The last time the subject of sex addiction and the portrait of a nymphomaniac was explored was Brandon in Steve McQueen’s intolerably alluring Shame. There is no doubt that Shame is the better of the two films, exploring a darker, grittier and more unabridged account of a sex-feinding businessman.
Thanks For Sharing, shortly following its fade to black, will spark conversations about what the film did well and why. The film is a very interesting and real take on a subject that I, along with many people I’m sure, have little or no knowledge about.
The film follows three generations of sex addicts; Mike (Tim Robbins) a husband, father and recovering alcoholic who acts as the sole patriarch of the strenuous twelve step program; Adam (Mark Ruffalo) a handsome businessman who is just celebrating his five year sobriety milestone; and Neil (Josh Gad), a doctor who has recently started attending the meetings, using it as a platform for free bagels with no real intent to recognize his addiction. As the progress (or lack there of) of each recovering addict takes a balanced and healthy routine, Mike, Adam and Neil all experience a major shift in their habits when a new person decides to enter each one of their lives.
The best part of Thanks For Sharing are these new additions that create a large wave of ripples in each of the sex addict’s lives and allow for the most potential of the narrative and character study’s to shine. For Mike, his world is turned upside down when his estranged, drug-addict son Danny (Patrick Fugit) returns home after fleeing the home years previous with his mother’s jewelry (Joely Richardson) to score some crack. From the moment Danny walks through the door, we question his sobriety and whether or not he was really able to rehabilitate himself, without the help of meetings and others, a technique his father swears by. For Adam, the new entry in his life is Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a sexy, racy health freak with issues of self-confidence and a past of her own. Phoebe reintroduces Adam to a lusty, freaky world of pleasure that he is hesitant to embrace. For Neil, whose amateur sex issues present the biggest problems of the film since they are so new, meets Dede (Alecia Moore or most famously known as pop-sensation P!nk) a sex-crazed, ticking time bomb who’s thoughtless decisions and dark sexual past gives purpose and hope for Neil, the ultimate sexual daydreaming wanderer.
There are some dark moments in Thanks For Sharing, as well as an abundance of feel-good, genuinely hysterical dialogues between characters, touched with instances of heavy drama. The film itself is a tonal misfire with some of the worst music composition and manipulative soundtrack decisions that takes you completely out of the amped up cinematic drama.
Initially released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, it’s quite apparent why the film has failed to find an audience. Regardless of its talented cast line-up, Thanks For Sharing is like unsatisfying foreplay; arousing and promising, although by the end, leaves you soft and hungry for more. The R-rating, along with the mis-marketed/non-glamourized look at the sticky subject through the trailer, and the grim direction that the film almost unexpectedly veers at times, really confuses moviegoers whose reaction can be described as nothing less than cinematic blue balls.
The film does delve into familiar territory; Strong family-drama, unconventional love story, and unformulaic buddy/comedy, Thanks For Sharing seems to share its worth of knowledge of genres. Unfortunately, the interesting questions and scenarios that the film presents get lost in the quest for a real identity. The film will present some interesting questions once audiences leave the theatre, but for the most part, the underlining question that will overshadow all other questions will be whether or not you like the film itself.
Night Film Reviews Rating: 6/10 Stars.
Here is the questionable trailer for the comedy/drama Thanks For Sharing.
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