DETROIT (WWJ) – After watching the new film “Thanks for Sharing,” I did a google search for sex addiction and came across the web site, “Sex Addicts Anonymous.” The website describes itself as “a fellowship of recovering addicts” offering “a message of hope to anyone who suffers from sex addiction.”
The addicts who come together for “fellowship” in “Thanks for Sharing” also offer messages of hope to one another, mainly while sitting in folding chairs in a nondescript room. There are some poignant stories that unfold in that room, but it’s mainly what happens outside of that room that’s at the heart of the film.
One of the men the group members rely on is Mike (Tim Robbins), the group’s leader, a successful small business owner married to his high school sweetheart.
Watching Robbins’ performance as Mike is like catching up with an old friend; someone you’re comfortable being around, understand his thinking (although you may not always agree with it), but enjoy being around, nonetheless.
Robbins stars alongside lead character Adam (Mark Ruffalo), a recovering sex addict, who’s reluctant to get involved in a relationship. Mike is Adam’s sponsor, the one person who pushes Adam to go outside his comfort zone and, following some initial hesitation, Adam decides to go along. While Mike is at ease around his buddies – while coaxing them through rehab – he’s the exact opposite with his long-lost son who returns home following some addiction struggles of his own. Mike has trouble believing his son has put the past behind him and is working to “clean up his act.”
“Thanks for Sharing” covers some tough territory. There’s the aforementioned strained relationship between Mike and his son; Adam’s relationship with his new girlfriend, Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), and his efforts not to have a relapse; and there’s also Neil (Josh Gad), a sex-addicted, momma’s boy physician; and Dede (Alecia “Pink” Moore), who’s never been “just friends” with a guy.
All of these characters are facing some tough battles, but Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and first-time director Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) does an excellent job tying the storylines together using a combination of wit and humor.
In addition to Robbins’ performance, the ensemble cast of Ruffalo (whom I loved in “Now You See Me), Paltrow, Gad and Pink are absolutely fantastic. Pink, in fact, shines as the over-sexed Dede.
“Thanks for Sharing” is both smart and funny. It definitely gets my vote for one of the movies to see this weekend.
See you at the movies!
Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee