In the last five days, I have been hunting down the DVD rental of Blue Jasmine and it is a Woody Allen film…enough said; however, even though I have failed to find a copy that has not been rented – I found Thanks For Sharing. I know it makes me sound like I’m calling it a runner-up choice, yet I am glad Blue Jasmine was out. Otherwise, I would have missed this gem by the acclaimed director, Stuart Blumberg (The Kids are Alright). Now, my overall impression of this film is that critics have misplaced the core message of the story. Critics categorized this film by calling it a “romantic-comedy.” Thanks For Sharing is a dramatic film with few brush strokes of comedic lines, but it is not sufficient to reach the levels of other well known rom-com movies like You’ve Got Mail.
Still, Thanks For Sharing is an observant film that analyzes the lives of sex-addicts and their struggles to survive without falling into their old habits. With a stellar cast, Thanks For Sharing follows four story lines involving Adam (Mark Ruffalo), Mike (Tim Robbins), Neil (Gosh Gad), and Dede (Pink as Alecia Moore).
Adam is seemingly the ideal man, but he recently celebrated his fifth year of sobriety from his sex addiction. Afraid to fall back into his old habits, his sponsor and good friend, Mike convinces Adam to go out and start dating. So, he eventually does and meets Phoebe. She’s athletic and takes her food intake to the extreme; however, she quickly reveals that she had breast cancer five years ago. As a result, her breasts are implants. They quickly start a relationship, then Phoebe says that she would never date an addict again – Leaving Mark uncertain if he should reveal his own addiction. Meanwhile, Neil is a doctor that must attend the meetings for sex addiction because of his court order.
At first, Neil did not take the meetings seriously and lied about his sobriety. Soon-after another incident at his job, Neil is fired and he realizes that he has to take the meetings seriously. Within these meetings, a new girl joins the group and her name is Dede. Although she looks tough on the outside, Dede is vulnerable and broken because her addiction made her loose her best friend. Hence, Dede wants to change.
Meanwhile, Dede fails to reach her sponsor and calls Neil for help. It is the first time that Dede actually has a male friend which she does not have intercourse with. Yet, not everything is roses and celebration because Mike and Adam are facing major problems. Mike is highly respected by everyone and he’s a former addict. He’s a role model, but he fails to trust his troubled son, Danny. Out of the blue, Danny returns home and claims he has not been drinking or taking pills. In other words, he has been clean in the last eight months. Sadly, Mike quickly thinks Danny is lying. Lastly, Phoebe lacks the patience to understand that a relationship with Adam is about to take-it real slow with him. As a result, their relationship ends abruptly.
Collectively, Blumberg brings a film that is grounded and perceptive. The goal of Thanks For Sharing is not a love story about a troubled guy and a naïve woman, but it exposes the complicated life of a sex addict trying to live a normal life that is filled with sexual ads, pornography, and dirty magazines available within seconds. It is unfortunate that it did not gain critical appraisal from major critics to gain nominations for original screenplay at least.