Movie Review – Thanks for Sharing (2012)

Director: Stuart Blumberg

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Pink, Carol Kane

Adam (Ruffalo) has just reached the five year mark of being sober from sex addiction when he meets a great woman, Phoebe (Paltrow). But he’s not sure if he’ll be able to have a meaningful relationship. Meanwhile, his sponsor Mike (Robbins) is dealing with stress as his son returns home, and a newcomer seeks help from Adam.

From the poster and the first sentence you could be forgiven for thinking that Thanks For Sharing is a fairly typical romcom. However, that is not that case, and this film is amazing. It does veer into typical romcom territory at times, but turns away at the last moment, making this a fresh film with a familiar feel.

Sex addiction is often treated as a joke in films and tv shows, but recently there have been a few films that address the problem in a mature way. Thanks for Sharing doesn’t have the bleak tone of, say, Shame but it does offer a new perspective on the disease and the nature of addiction itself. I like the way the film shows three men all in different stages of coping with their addiction, and although Ruffalo’s story is the prime one I enjoyed Gad’s portions of the film the most.

The romance between Adam and Phoebe takes a dark turn, but it gives a sense of perspective for those who look down on addicts because everyone has their own quirks and their own ways of coping with things. At times this film is incredibly raw, and there are some sequences which some people may find difficult to watch, but overall it is a rewarding experience. It doesn’t shy away from the realities of life as an addict, and the fragility of the fact that even spending many years sober can slip away with one moment of weakness, but amidst that all it shows the connections that you can still make with other people and new friendships that can forge, and that ultimately you don’t have to go through it alone.

It’s really an incredible film and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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