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Rugger Review: Thanks For Sharing

   

Summary: Adam is a recovering sex addict who has been abstinent for five years. Along with others from his recovery group, Adam must navigate through life and love whilst keeping his addiction in check.

No longer a taboo issue in Hollywood, sex addiction (and any form of addiction for that matter) has become more common in mainstream cinema in recent years but is usually mined for Oscar potential.

Following the likes of Choke (2008) which played it for darkly-comic laughs and Shame (2011) which showed a more dangerous side, Thanks for Sharing tries its best to provide us with both.

While the trailer suggests this will be more of a romantic comedy, the film itself gives us some insight into the harsher issues of what is a serious subject matter.

Unfortunately, this is a disadvantage to an otherwise solid drama. The tone of the film is so uneven at times, it’s hard to tell whether we should be laughing or crying.

The film weaves together three strands involving its three male leads. First up, Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is doing his best to improve on his five years of abstinence but finds himself struggling to cope when he gets involved with Gwyneth Paltrow’s flirty fitness instructor.

Then there’s fifteen year veteran Mike (Tim Robbins), who suddenly finds himself releasing his pent-up aggression when his junkie son returns home.

Lastly, and by far the funniest and most interesting strand, follows sex-crazed ER doctor Neil as he tries to accept the fact he has a problem while bonding with newcomer Dede (Pink).

Thanks for Sharing lives and dies by its subject matter. Unsure whether to mine the topic for laughs or take the serious route, first time director Stuart Blumberg jumps from belly laughs to moments of pure discomfort.

Watching Neil fall of his bike precedes a meltdown for Adam involving a girl half his age. A spot of wrestling with Mike and his son in a rare moment of bonding is interrupted by an urgent call for Mike to help a fellow addict who has lost it.

It’s this uncertainty in tone that stops Thanks for Sharing from being truly great but the performances from it’s three male leads (and from debutant Pink), which are raw and brutally honest, elevates the script from the soap-like dramedy it could have been.

Final Verdict: The type of thoughtful, adult material that should be made more often, Thanks for Sharing would make a great drama, and comedy, just not at the same time. The uneven tone will find those looking for a drama disappointed and those looking for a comedy unsure when it’s appropriate to laugh. But some great performances save it from complete obscurity and make it worth sharing.

Star Rating: 3/5

* Review by Stephen Connolly

 

   

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