Published Sep 23, 2012On the heels of the success of Shame, The Kids Are All Right co-writer Stuart Blumberg makes his directorial debut with another film about the suffering of sex addiction, only to provide an uneasy mix of comedy and melodrama that destroys any potential of being the standout dramedy it wants to be.
The film follows three men in the same sex addicts anonymous group who all rise, fall and rise again during the subsequent events in the mainstream-friendly film. Mark Ruffalo plays Adam, a man now in control of his addiction after five years of sobriety. Attempting to get back into the world of dating, Adam meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a feisty, sexually-charged woman who he can essentially see himself dating exclusivel,y in spite of the fact that he wishes to keep her in the dark about his past.
Adam's jaded sponsor, Mike (Tim Robbins), who also has been successful with recovery, is tempted to end his sobriety when his estranged son (Patrick Fugit), also a former addict, returns home to reconnect with his family.
And lastly there's Adam's lazy sponsoree, Neil (Josh Gad), a goofy, sexually perverse ER doctor who's able to get the help he needs from a fellow sex addict (in a surprisingly well-acted performance from Alecia Moore, aka Pink) after their platonic friendship is formed.
It's obvious that Blumberg didn't want to make a film as controversial as Shame, as there are many light moments of comedy, which unfortunately make the darker scenes (when all of the characters struggle with their addictions) stick out like a sore thumb.
Other than a standout performance from Tim Robbins and very well handled sequences with Mark Ruffalo, all of the performances are too cheesy and corny to ever take seriously. None of the relationships feel organic, especially when it comes to Adam and Phoebe's bond.
It's difficult to tell whether Gwyneth Paltrow was horribly miscast or if her character was poorly written as a hypocritical asshole. Either way, Phoebe doesn't prove to be a believable love interest for a man who has avoided having sex for five long years.
Thanks For Sharing is sure to please mainstream viewers. However, if you're looking for substance and are easily offended by seeing a character who is a borderline sex offender provide comic relief, then it's best to steer clear of this one. (Lions Gate)