Thanks for Sharing, 2012.
Directed by Stuart Blumberg
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson and Alecia Moore.
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is a recovering sex addict, who begins to doubt his six years of celibacy when he meets dream girl Phoebe (Gwenyth Paltrow). Leader of the self help group, Mike (Tim Robbins), has his own problems as his recovering drug addict son returns home, much to his discomfort. Mike and Adam also try and guide young doctor Neil (Josh Gad) whose career is almost ruined several times over by his sex addiction. Neil meets newcomer Dede (Alecia Moore/Pink), as he wonders if she’ll be able to save him from himself.
There is one huge problem that plagues Thanks for Sharing as a film, and it appears almost immediately. Thanks for Sharing claims to be a film about sex addiction, but it doesn’t understand the addiction of which its characters suffer from. If a writer wants audiences to empathise or sympathise with characters, we need to see them endure hardships, we need to see them at their lowest point, so they can rise again. Simply using exposition to tell us our characters are addicted to sex is a mute point, we should see it. Because the film starts during the recovery process, it’s incredibly hard for us to relate to what our protagonists have been through. As an additional consequence of the film starting so late in its own narrative, the pace is incredibly wonky, and almost nothing happens.
The film boasts quite a star-studded, capable cast, but for some reason, there is little or no chemistry between most of the characters involved in emotive scenes. Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow were particularly disappointing as the key romantic couple. Tim Robbins was fairly good, regardless of his story arch being quite irrelevant. Alecia Moore (Pink) was genuinely impressive, this being her acting début. Although the drama or comedy was mostly ineffective, the cast aren’t to blame. The dialogue is wooden and rigid enough, that it would have been hard for any cast to make it believable.
Thanks for Sharing had potential, but it simply didn’t gel as a film. A funny, emotive romantic comedy about sex addiction was an ambitious goal from first time director Stuart Blumberg, but the bold attempt is appreciated nonetheless. For fans of the romantic comedy, Thanks for Sharing is still worth a watch. The novelty of seeing Tim Robbins after such a long hiatus is certainly a factor, alongside Pink’s surprisingly good acting début. If it appeals to you, by all means watch it. Otherwise, might be worth missing.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★