From the co-writer of "The Kids are All Right" comes Stuart Blumberg's latest, the new off-beat rom-com “Thanks for Sharing.” Starring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow, "Thanks for Sharing" centers on a group of recovering sex addicts as they travel the bumpy chafe-ridden road to sex sobriety.
“Thanks for Sharing” has a clear strength: its characters. Each man we meet is at a different stage in recovery: Mike (Tim Robbins) is more than 15 years sober and married to his high school sweetheart. His problems stem more from the return of his drug-addict son Danny (Patrick Fugit) than from his own disease. Mike’s sponsee, Adam (Ruffalo), is five years sober, handsome, and finally trying for a relationship with Phoebe (Paltrow). Next we have Adam’s sponsee, Neil (Josh Gad), who’s fresh to the AA scene. Neil’s an ER doctor and was court ordered into recovery after some inappropriate touching. He’s both the comic relief and what feels like a very authentic portrayal of a sex addict coming to terms with his problems.
We also get to know one more member of the AA group, DeDe, played by Pink. Yes, Pink. Like, “U + UR Hand” Pink. Her screen debut is jarring, like, “Whoa, that’s Pink. She acts?” But as the movie goes on, she becomes more DeDe and less “Why is Pink in this movie?” She actually delivers a solid performance and is a fun addition to the cast.
All of these characters are multi-dimensional and well-acted, and they experience a full transformation throughout the 112 minutes. Sounds great, right? So what’s keeping this from being an Academy Award-winning film? Timing. Smack dab after “The Way Way Back” and “The Spectacular Now,” “Thanks for Sharing” is the third wide release of an indie movie from the makers of previously successful indie movies (“Little Miss Sunshine” and “500 Days of Summer,” respectively) in the past few months. It didn’t push the limits of what the general populace imagines sex addiction to be, and the relationships, while realistic and meaningful, were tropes seen many times before.
But never fear, Hollywood likes to release similar movies in pairs. This weekend “Don Jon” comes out. It’s a movie about sex addiction written, directed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So if “Thanks for Sharing” doesn’t hit the spot, maybe “Don Jon” will do it for you, pun intended.