If there was a film that gave a genuine and light-hearted look at sex addiction, it would be this one. Thanks For Sharing is the feature directorial debut for screenwriter Stuart Blumberg of 2010’s The Kids Are Alright (which also stars Mark Ruffalo). It follows the lives of four recovering sex addicts in a support group, including Adam (Ruffalo)—a successful environmental consultant who has sworn off masturbation and sex for the past five years—and his sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins)—a 12-step-program role model who has successfully battled his sex and alcohol addictions. Adam begins to fall in love with Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow) and they learn about the trials and tribulations of dealing with sex addiction, both emotionally and physically.
Thanks For Sharing is a mixture of different themes: a primer on sex addiction, a romantic comedy, and a dark drama. Adam and Phoebe’s budding romance is full of witty banter that will leave audiences smiling—it’s charming to say the least. However, Robbins steals the show with nearly every line he delivers as he gets the most humorous quips in this screenplay, and Neil (Josh Gad) provides some comedic relief along the lines that a Jonah Hill or Jack Black would. He also pairs up with Dede (Alecia Moore, A.K.A. singer Pink) in an uplifting friendship. Who knew Pink was such a natural actress?
What is most striking about the film is that Blumberg reveals the underlying nature of sexual addiction to movie-goers. Compassionately, he sheds some light on how it should be treated as a disease just like any other addiction and tries to dispel the stigma that sex addicts are just perverts.
The last act of Thanks for Sharing, though, takes a bit of a tailspin and the mood of the film dramatically shifts, which teeters the balance of the film. However, for the most part, the laughs are consistent and much needed for such a dark subject. Since sex addiction is complex, there is no possible way Blumberg would have been able to cover all aspects of it in one film, but he still does so in a heartwarming and clever way. Thanks for Sharing is out in theaters today.
By Jean Trinh
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This post originally appeared on Culture Composition.
*Full disclosure: QLC editor Liza Nedelman worked on this film. Her views are not reflected in this article.