Thanks for Sharing (2013)
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is a dedicated environmental consultant, Neil (Josh Gad) is an emergency room doctor, and Mike (Tim Robbins)is a contractor; all come from different backgrounds and seem like they wouldn’t have anything in common. Except for the fact that they are all addicts in a support group… a support group for sex addiction. Adam is respected and looked up to by the members of the support group the three attend. Mike is seen as the leader of the group, well liked and caring, he always has time for his fellow group members. Neil is new to the group and really hasn’t come to terms with being a sex addict, having been ordered by a judge to attend the meetings. Newly added to the group is Dede (Pink), who when seeing that she is the only female in the support group says “Wow, my last support group wasn’t such a sausage fest.”
Adam has been clean for 5 years and on advice from his sponsor, Mike, he has decided that he is ready to try and start dating again. At a cooking class, he meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), and they instantly hit it off, so much so that she gives him her number. Now, Mike must come to a decision; when does he tell Phoebe, a woman that he really likes, about his sex addiction.
This is a very strange film because it’s an adult romantic comedy where most of the principal players are sex addicts. The film tries to be funny at times, sometimes going over the line with some slapstick scenes that Josh Gad’s character is involved with, but it never quite finds the mark.
Whereas, the plot line is a little too predictable, so that you know what is going to happen, right before it happens; not a good thing to bring out the laughs. The film does an admirable job of tackling such a tough subject as sex addiction, an addiction that society looks down on and doesn’t fully understand. We see through the eyes of Adam, how difficult it must be in today’s society to be a sex addict, where you can’t walk down a NY street without being bombarded by ads that use sex as a selling tool. To stay strait, Adam does not have a TV or a computer in his apartment, and when he goes on business trips, he goes as far as having the TV removed from the room.
The three male leads are outstanding in this film. Ruffalo plays Adam as a man we would instantly like, charming and humorous. You can see why Gwyneth Paltrow’s character is attracted to him right from the start. Ruffalo never disappoints on screen. This is one of his best performances, as we really get to see the man and all the conflicts that he has to overcome just to have a normal relationship with a woman.
Tim Robbins is equally good as the well-worn and seasoned Mike, who by his own admission, has put his family through hell but has come to a place where he can function normally and can use his knowledge to help others.
Josh Gad is becoming one of my favorite actors and does an outstanding job of showing us someone who is just starting to realize that he must get a handle on his addiction or it will ruin his life. Gad’s scenes with Pink’s character, Dede, are the highlight of the film. They play off each other perfectly as their characters become more comfortable asking for help and guidance.
Co-writer/director Stuart Blumberg just doesn’t quite find his footing with this film, as It can’t quite figure out if wants to be a drama or a romantic comedy, so it goes to kind of a middle ground that just isn’t what was needed. With such a great cast, and a terrific performance by Ruffalo, this film should have been better. It’s one of those films that you leave the theatre saying “I liked it, but I didn’t love it.”
My Rating: Bargain Matinee
“Thanks for Sharing” is currently playing in Atlanta area theatres.