What do you get when you mix two Oscar winners with two Oscar nominees and a chart-topping diva? You get the very funny Thanks for Sharing, a surprisingly good dramatic comedy from Oscar-nominated writer-turned-director Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are Alright, 2010) in his directorial debut.
You wouldn’t think there’d be many comparisons between an environmental consultant, a small-time businessman and an emergency room doctor -right? Well there is one big similarity between Adam, Mike and Neil that threatens to destroy their future happiness- they are all sex addicts and members of a 12-Step group to rid them of their addiction. To start with, there is to be no temptations, so no TV, no computers… each addict must deal with this in their own way.
The leader of the group is Mike. (played by Oscar winning Tim Robbins) A reformed sex addict, Mike is married to his childhood sweetheart Joely Richardson (who was disappointingly rarely seen). Even though Mike is a mentor to the younger sex addicts of his group, he has a major problem with the relationship he shares with his alcoholic son (Patrick Fugit).
Mark Ruffalo is quite brilliant as Adam, a flourishing Environmental Consultant. He has had a successful five years of “sexual sobriety”, as the group calls it. His mentor Mike pushes him into dating again. He meets gorgeous Phoebe (Gwenyth Paltrow) with her own food control issues. On top of this, Phoebe tells Adam straight away that she left her last boyfriend because he was an alcoholic and has decided to completely stay away from addicts. Therefore, Adam thinks it might be safer to keep his addiction secret to himself.
Emergency-Room Doctor Neil (Josh Gad) is a newcomer to the group thanks to the Court order which put him there and he doesn’t want to contribute at all. This all changes when he becomes friends with another group member, Dede (a surprisingly outstanding role by Alecia Moore – better known as singer Pink!) – I say ‘surprisingly’ because Pink! is actually great!
It is comforting how the characters become like a family. Naturally they are the only ones who can really understand each other’s addictions and they are an incredible support to see. I liked seeing Mike trying to support Adam and encourage him, but my favourite friendship that develops is that of Neil and Dede. The humour in their behaviour is brilliant!
While this movie might not be for everyone, I have to say that it is one of the funniest films I have seen this year! Then I read a glowing appraisal from a psychological professor who deals with addicts daily. She saluted Thanks For Sharing as a “gift” for addicts and their friends and families because of its clear portrayal of this illness.
I thank Hollywood for the ability of finding humour in everything!
Reviewed by Kirstey Whicker
Rating out of 10: 8
Thanks for Sharing opens 3 October 2013