Mike: It’s like trying to quit crack while the pipe is attached to your body.
There are a lot of people out there who have a hard time acknowledging that sex addiction is actually a thing. I’m not one of those people. I believe that, like food or alcohol, people can use sex to fill that pesky void in their lives, and form associations with sexual acts that can eventually lead to dependencies. Many people look at self-proclaimed sex addicts as plain old jerks just looking for an excuse for their bad behaviour. While I’m sure a good chunk of people out there are actually just jerks, I think it would be naive to suggest that there aren’t just as many people out there compromising themselves in ways they likely never expected to just to get their sexual fixes. Time may change the sex addict naysayers out there eventually but sadly, films like THANKS FOR SHARING, will do nothing to get their minds changed any faster.
After writing THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, and earning an Oscar nomination for doing so, Stuart Blumberg decided to take a stab at directing with the sex addict comedy, THANKS FOR SHARING (because addiction is nothing if not hilarious). He enlisted “Kids” standout, Mark Ruffalo, to star as Adam, a sex addict who has been five years “sober”. Before Adam got into the program, there were some nights he thought he might die if he didn’t have sex. Now, Adam has met a girl he thinks he might really like (Gwyneth Paltrow), only his associations with sex have been so sullied by his past behaviour, that he can no longer associate the act with anything romantic or meaningful. Paltrow’s Phoebe doesn’t date addicts as a rule but for some reason, perhaps because she too naively doesn’t think sex addiction is a thing, she makes an exception for Adam. She should have trusted her initial instincts because it isn’t long before Adam’s demons begin to take over his life again.
It is hard for me resolve that the writer of THANKS FOR SHARING also wrote THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. The latter is such an honest and natural script, that inspired some amazing performances and fostered some very real moments. THANKS FOR SHARING is so false at times. It is not the least bit subtle. It opens with Adam hurrying to a meeting in New York City, distracted by countless ads featuring nearly naked women in them. The insinuation? Our modern youth and beauty obsessed society is rotting all of our brains. Past that, our bad sexual habits, inspired by the constant stimulation in the media, are making it difficult for us to form real connections with people when the opportunity presents itself. Now, I’m not saying I don’t agree with that theory but I know there are less insulting ways, and perhaps even more entertaining ways, to present it than this.