Director: Stuart Blumberg
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Pink, Jody Richardson, Patrick Fugit
Written by: Stuart Blumberg and Matt Winston
Running Time: 112 mins
Release date: 4th October 2013
The topic of sex addiction was heavily covered a few years ago in the dramatic Shame. Now comes a much lighter look at something that affects far more people than you would imagine. In Thanks For Sharing, we get an ensemble piece that will get publicity for Gwyneth Paltrow in black underwear than for a mature comedy drama that is never judgmental.
Adam is a sex addict and has been clean for five years. He refuses to have a TV or laptop in his hotel rooms when out on business trips and with the support from recovering alcoholic Mike ,he is now mentor to Neil, who has a few issues he has to deal with. Adam meets Phoebe, a fitness fanatic and the pair want to start a relationship but Adam fears it could trigger him to return to his old ways. Meanwhile, Mike is having trouble coping with the return of his wayward son, Danny, who he believes is only returning home to steal from him again to nurse his own drug addiction. Neil meets and befriends hairdresser, Dede, a fellow sex addict and in need of a male partner she can trust. Will the pair be good or bad for each other?
Stuart Blumberg’s film maybe looked upon as being far too light and fluffy to take the subject of addiction, no matter what the form, seriously. It is a shallow cousin to the Steve McQueen directed drama that was dark and dangerous but that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t have a voice. While its intentions are good and you know that no matter how long the characters have abstained from the sins of the flesh, the armour will crack but that’s okay. We are only human, something that Shame did forget to mention.
The film does zip along at a nice old pace and is dotted with smart one-liners and likeable sequences, all aided by good performances from an experienced cast who know what they are doing. While it never criticises or makes demands on the characters, it does have some things to say about modern addictions, even if they aren’t rubbed in your face. These are nice people who just happen to like sex a little too much and even when their inevitable crash happens, you can feel safe in the knowledge that they will come bouncing back.
Mark Ruffalo is always worth his weight in gold and here he doesn’t disappoint as Adam. As Mr Nice Guy, you immediately is on his side and you want him to succeed and be happy. Gwyneth Paltrow is the perfect complement to Ruffalo’s anxiety ridden Adam, as the level-headed Phoebe, while its nice to see Tim Robbins taking on a bigger role as Mike and delivering the goods.
However, the film’s real joy comes in the unlikely pairing of Josh Gad as Neil, the mischievous addict who puts cameras on his shoes to look up women’s skirts and pop star Pink, playing Dede. Their relationship is both funny and surprisingly sweet and makes the film that much nicer. Pink also proving that she’s a half decent actress too. Who knew?
It is a little too earnest to congratulate these addicts and it does lead down a predictable road to that ultimate sickly sweet ending but in a period of cinema where everything seems bleak and dark and somewhat depressing, it feels rather nice to have a film that does excuse itself from showing us a brighter side to a serious subject. By the way, if you think this is going to be an utter bonk-fest, forget it. Thanks For Sharing maybe about sex but it never stoops so low to share it with the audience. Pleasant.