Thanks for Sharing an interesting romp through sex addiction
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Rated 18A.
“Is that even a real thing?” someone asks during this perhaps too easygoing dramedy about sex addiction. Thanks for Sharing, a directing debut for Stuart Blumberg (here working with actor-turned-writer Matt Winston), makes the case that any out-of-control habit threatening to upend your life is worthy of multiple meetings and 12-step solutions.
Blumberg previously wrote witty scripts for The Kids Are All Right and The Girl Next Door. The Kids’ Mark Ruffalo here plays Adam, one of three Manhattan dudes addicted to what you might call the seven-minute itch. Adam’s sponsor is elder statesman Mike (Tim Robbins), a successful contractor whose patient wife (Joely Richardson) has stuck with him through several kinds of addictions; their troubled son (Almost Famous star Patrick Fugit) hasn’t benefited much from Dad’s hard-won wisdom.
The newcomer to their frequently caucusing group is Neil (Josh Gad, in the Jack Black role), a recently graduated doctor whose specialty should be ER triage except that his urge for subway frottage keeps getting in the way. As a court-mandated participant who is also “humorously” fat, he has the farthest to go. (I didn’t quite understand his mommy issues, but it was nice to see Carol Kane, even in a small part.)
Neil halfheartedly leans on sponsor Adam, but the latter is distracted by an athletic beauty (Gwyneth Paltrow) who might be the one, except that he can’t bring himself to come clean about his thing. Sharing has the same problem: it’s about people who make bad messes, but the tale stays a little too neat for its own good. Only a subplot involving the singer Pink (aka Alecia Moore) as a drinking-and-doping trouble addict—and the sole working-class character in the mix—hints at true disorder.
Neither as darkly stylized as Shame nor as patently funny as Don Jon—two highly visual films that rub up against the same subject—this one is very well written and acted on a scene-by-scene basis. The movie does make you think, at times, but what it doesn’t need is a happy ending.