BY KILEY BELL
If you haven’t seen the film Thanks for Sharing, then I suggest you stop reading this and just go watch it now.
If that one sentence didn’t convince you, then let me try to persuade you further. As far as support group films go, I have seen my fair share. In a strange way, there’s something about watching people in group therapy talk about their problems that makes you examine your own life (I mean, didn’t we all want to attend random meetings after watching Marla Singer in Fight Club?). The problem with these plots is that most of them have been done before–we’ve seen the struggling alcoholic and the addicted junky played out many times. Sex addiction films, on the other hand, haven’t been explored quite as much, which probably makes them more intriguing. Although I have no personal experience with the matter, I like to think that Thanks for Sharing does a great job showing the reality of the situation while still remaining (for the most part) a light-hearted film.
Even though the relationship between Mark Ruffalo’s sex-addicted character Adam and Gwyneth Paltrow’s in-the-dark-about-her-boyfriend’s-sex-addiction character Phoebe is the main plot of the film, it’s definitely not the highlight. Undoubtedly, I have to say the reason this movie is so good is because of the unfortunate, but hilarious, circumstances Neil (Josh Gad) finds himself in. For you New Girl fans, this is basically his best role since Bearclaw.
Neil is sent to court-mandated therapy for his sex addiction where he meets one of the only females in his session–a spunky, opinionated woman named Dede (Alecia Moore, a.k.a. Pink). Even though she’s known more for her singing than acting, Pink could have a real shot at film if she wanted to. She created her character so perfectly it almost makes you wonder how much Pink has in common with Dede in real life. The chemistry and comedic timing between Neil and Dede is fantastic, and I’ve never rooted more for a stranger couple. Throw in some great Tim Robbins one-liners, and a shockingly upsetting relationship between a father and a son, and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded, sex-filled dramedy.
If you’re looking to place this film on a “sex addiction humour scale” just to know what you’re getting yourself into, I would give it a solid 7 out of 10 (1 being Shame and 10 being Don Jon). Basically it would be in line humour-wise (and rating-wise) with Choke. There are definitely quite a few laugh-out-loud parts (mostly at the expense of Neil) that make the movie silly and fun, but this is balanced well with the darker parts of addiction. If you’re looking for something much more intense, then I suggest waiting for the release of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
A student of Centennial’s post-graduate Book and Magazine publishing program, Kiley enjoys spending most of her time crying over Tom Hanks romcoms, watching Downton Abbey and hoping that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen continue making movies with only each other.