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Thanks For Sharing (2013)

tomatometer

49

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 110
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 56

Thanks For Sharing showcases some fine performances but doesn't delve into its thorny premise as deeply as it should.

42

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 22

Thanks For Sharing showcases some fine performances but doesn't delve into its thorny premise as deeply as it should.

audience

43

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 9,677

My Rating

Movie Info

On the surface Adam (Ruffalo), an over-achieving environmental consultant, Mike (Robbins), a long-married small-business owner, and Neil (Gad), a wisecracking emergency-room doctor, have little in common. But all are in different stages of dealing with addiction. Confident and successful in his career, Adam is afraid to allow love back into his life, even if that means losing a chance to start over with smart, beautiful and accomplished Phoebe (Paltrow); Mike's efforts to control his wife, Katie

R,

Drama, Comedy

Stuart Blumberg, Matt Winston

Jan 7, 2014

$1.1M

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All Critics (110) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (56) | DVD (1)

Thanks for Sharing might best be described as being like Steve McQueen's sex-addiction drama, Shame, if it were rewritten by Neil Simon at his most schmaltzy.

October 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's frankly exhausting to keep up with these neurotic over-sharers, who are neither serious enough to care about nor humorous enough to laugh at.

October 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At least most of the cast is appealing, with Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, and Alecia Moore (better known as pop singer Pink) delivering the uninspired dialogue with relative finesse.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Be warned: viewers may experience a violent urge to shake the characters, one by one, and tell them to get a life.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

After the bleak brilliance of 'Shame,' this is an almost sunny look at sexual addiction. Almost.

September 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks for Sharing is never quite crazy or funny enough to transcend its "disease-of-month" template.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You get a very talented ensemble, but the material just isn't strong enough, leading to a lot of star power, but no staying power.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Writer/director Stuart Blumberg got me to care about the characters and their fate to a degree all too rare in medium-sized American dramas.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

A likeable, well-meaning muddle of a movie, Thanks For Sharing takes the light road through the serious sex addiction of three New Yorkers.

October 18, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

This self-conscious oddity can't decide whether it wants to be an indie-earnest reappraisal of the rigours of chronic dependency, or a slightly racy romcom with a saucy topical edge.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Wildly inconsistent in tone, it is impossible to know whether the film aspires to comedy; it's certainly not funny.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

An occasionally by turns dull, moving, funny, sobering and oddly explicit drama which feels a bit like Mike Leigh deflating Sex And The City.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Next week we shall be drawing parallels between compulsive telly watchers and members of the French Resistance. Ludicrous.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

The result plays like a dramatized self-help book: useful if you're in therapy but not much fun for the rest of us.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Thanks For Sharing did not leave me wanting more but less. And demanding a cinematic court order that comedy and drama live apart for a while, or at least until they can share the screen in harmony.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: UTV

Thanks but no thanks.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Engaging, low-key and thoughtful comedy-drama with a sharply observed script and a trio of terrific performances from Ruffalo, Robbins and Gad.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Tonally the film is all over the rink, but it leaves you more convinced and entertained than you'd expect.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Even if we've never been to a 12-step meeting, an intelligent script and sharp performances help us see ourselves in these characters and situations.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

Mature sex addiction dramedy has some highs, but also lows.

October 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

When Blumberg's film heads into more melodramatic territory, and attempts to impart lessons about what it means to live and love, it feels - and apologies for the phrasing - masturbatory.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

The film settles into a more predictable pattern in the second half, when each of its three stories plays out an inevitable conflict that causes their demons to manifest themselves in melodramatic ways before allowing for a chance at redemption.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

It's a romantic comedy about sex addiction but somehow it pulls off the premise. Director Stuart Blumberg takes some unlikely material for the genre and makes it work.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

Audience Reviews for Thanks For Sharing

3 1/4 stars--This story had real potential, and some really good actors. I was expecting a good film. But, the movie is just a standard rom-com with an attempt at a good story plugged in. The end the movie tries to become something special, but it is too little, too late. The movie just falls flat, even the good actors can't save it. I didn't hate it, but I expected so much more..
April 7, 2014
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Life is a journey you never have to take alone.

Good drama/comedy film! The movie depicts a surprisingly complete spectrum of victories, failures, and facts of recovery: meetings, sponsorship, relapses into addiction, a "crash", a "crash and burn", job loses, near relapses, just-in-time phone calls, phone calls which went unanswered at critical times, suspicious girlfriends, wary wives, male addicts, female addicts, addict parents having to confront the affects of their addiction on their own children, addicts having to deal with their abusive parents, starting a healthy relationship with another addict in recovery or with a non-addict, the confusion caused by sex after long abstinence from sex, multiple addictions, and, above all, a message of hope and freedom. It's all there, and it's there in a surprisingly compact story. The main cast were great and their characters were interesting. More importantly, the film didn't suffer from the current trait of being too long for the storyline.

A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.
February 20, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Much better than I expected. Unusual topic for a rom com, being about addiction. I can't stand Pink, but have to give her credit for playing a good part. Emily Meade as Becky was the standout for me. She had a fairly small role, but was very moving. I really warned to know more about her character.
October 17, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

"Isn't sex addiction one of those things guys make up when they're caught cheating?" asks a character in Thanks for Sharing. This movie treats the topic of sex addiction very seriously, rattling off plenty of adverse side effects rather than just a wandering eye. Director and co-writer Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) is certainly empathetic to his characters on screen. I just wish the movie knew what it wanted to be.

We follow three sex addicts in one therapy group, all at different points of recovery. Mike (Tim Robbins) is the paternal figure of the group. He's long been married to his high school sweetheart. Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is five years sober and being prodded by Mike to start seriously dating again. He meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cancer survivor, and hides his addiction from her. Worst of all is Neil (Josh Gad), a doctor who has been mandated to attend sex addict group therapy after "bumping" into people on the subway and recording an upskirt video of his boss. He doesn't believe he has a problem, but, under the guidance of Adam and Mike, comes to the conclusion that the only person who can fix his impulses is himself.

Thanks for Sharing is an admittedly entertaining movie, at turns, but it's a movie with one debilitating identity crises. What kind of movie does it want to be tonally? We get raunchy sex gags, and then the film transitions into rom-com fluff, and then the film transitions into hard-hitting addict drama, and then it's all back again. All of these elements could have been carefully threaded into one movie, but Blumberg and co-writer Matt Winston cannot nail down a consistent tone. In fact many of the changes can be quite jarring. One minute people are engaged in wacky sex hijinks, and the next they're lamenting all the horrible life choices they've made in tears. When there isn't a clear tone, or clear transitions, then the comedy undercuts the drama and vice versa. Therefore, certain elements can be appreciated or be found engaging, but the movie cannot become more than the sum of its parts. And let me get into whether sex addiction is really a topic that can work in the realm of romantic comedy. With the right finesse anything can be presented in a comedic light that still maintains the humanity and dignity of its flawed characters. However, is something as easily misunderstood as sex addiction, whose particulars can be quite appalling to many, the right fit for a genre that is predicated on whimsical coupling? I don't think so. Thanks for Sharing doesn't change my mind.

About that rom-com part, notably the relationship between Adam and Phoebe, it's easily the least interesting part of the film. Both of these characters are fairly bland. Adam's the sober guy trying to keep things going, except that we never really feel like he's challenged. We don't feel the threat that he's going to relapse. And we don't really get to know much else about the guy. He vaguely works for some sort of environmental firm. As a character, he is defined by Phoebe, herself a collection of quirks that doesn't coalesce to form a human being. The film weirdly keeps harping on the fact that Phoebe likes her food to not touch, as if this minor peculiarity is some harbinger of a greater OCD complex (she's into physical fitness!). The fact that other characters have to jump in on this makes it even more transparently reaching. Worse than all this, the couple's interactions, and much of their budding relationship, feels overwhelmingly artificial. The dialogue should be sparking, charming, but you get no real sense of why either of these people would fall for the other, excluding the obvious physical attributes of each. The rom-com convention of the Big Secret (Adam's addiction) is left dangling until, surprise, it's defused early. I'd expect the movie to push further since there is a wealth of drama to be had about the trust levels of dating a sex addict, but instead it just forces them apart all too easy. Then there's the fact that the movie covers perhaps a month of time and their relationship seems to move ridiculously fast, mostly because Blumberg is impatient for his couple to get to a more physically intimate stage.

Thanks for Sharing works far better as a darker drama, and as a movie, when it focuses on the roles of Mike and Neil. The film smartly connects sex addiction with other impulse control issues; for Mike he's been sober from booze for 15 years, and for Neill he has weight control issues. These are the characters we see struggle, these are the characters at the more interesting points. Neill especially is a doctor whose hit rock bottom and can't get away from the felonious things his addiction tempts him to do. Mike has a surrogate family with his support group. Now that his prodigal son (Patrick Fugit) returns, that adds tension to his family dynamic, both at home and in group. I would have preferred Thanks for Sharing to be told chiefly from the perspective of these characters, eliminating Adam and Phoebe altogether. But even these good storylines find themselves wading into all-too familiar plot devices. Mike's arc involves reconnecting with his son, which will lead to a misunderstanding, a conflict, and ultimately forgiveness, and you see every step coming. Neill's journey gets an unexpected boost when he takes initiative to help Dede (Pink a.k.a. Alecia Moore), one of the only ladies in group. Of course it takes a pretty girl to push Neill out of his selfishness and self-loathing, but he does progress, and it's the most emotionally rewarding moment in the film. The problem is that Neill's storyline is tied up in a platonic head-scratcher. Dede takes Neill to a dance hall where they are just there to... dance, but the kind of dancing that hipsters do. It all seems like something for people on drugs, but whatever reason, Neill shaking his groove thing, and coming to an understanding that he will not be touching Dede, makes his character better. I was surprised that Blumberg was able to end the movie on something of a downbeat, falling back to the central message of one day at a time, vigilance.

There is one standout scene that really gets to the scariness of sex addiction succinctly. Once Adam falls off the wagon, which shouldn't be much of a spoiler people, he regroups with Becky (Emily Meade) a gal he had a one-night stand with. Their flirtation is quick, settling into their attraction, and then she engages in behavior that, meant to be alluring, is rather insightful. She has a daddy fixation and wants to be punished as a "bad girl" with Adam pretending to be her stern father. That could be a red flag, but Adam carries on. Then she asks him to slap her. Adam refuses. So she does it herself, beating herself, eventually descending into a mess of tears, screaming. Adam tries to console her, stupidly deciding to try and make contact with her after she keeps screaming, "Don't touch me!" She locks herself in the bathroom and threatens to harm herself. This one moment in the film gets at the damage of sex addiction like nothing else. It points to possible abuse, but really it all falls apart so rapidly that your head is spinning. The conclusion is pat and anticlimactic, but the lead-up is fantastic. If the rest of the movie had been thematically closer to this scene, Thanks for Sharing would be worth sharing.

From an acting standpoint, the cast does a fine job portraying their characters and his or her respective foibles. Ruffalo (The Avengers) is a bit too even keeled for his character. Gad (Jobs, The Internship) is the film's comedic spark but also its greatest source of internal drama, which Gad handles well, showcasing the desperation of Neill. The real surprise is actually pop singer Pink in her first real acting performance (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle counts under no circumstances). Her introductory monologue, which she nails, makes you take notice that Pink has some genuine acting muscles.

Thanks for Sharing is an uneven mishmash of genres and ideas, rarely settling down into something worthy of the talent at work here. The comedy works against the drama, the drama works against the comedy, the clichéd character developments don't serve anyone, and the overall artificial nature of the central rom-com coupling drags the enjoyment level further down. There is good work here, good acting and some memorable scenes and offhand laughs, but all Thanks for Sharing can amount to is a series of scant moments, passing encounters of entertainment. I didn't find many of the characters to be as nearly compelling as the filmmakers did, and some of their hasty resolutions and developments feel far too simple for an addiction this complicated. The potential of the film is never fully realized. While I'm doubtful rom-com is a good fit for a serious exploration on sex addiction (wasn't Shame hilarious?), it does lend itself to a bevy of juicy setups and possibilities. We get little of these. It's as if the film wanted to present a case for the legitimacy of sex addiction, front-loaded with stats and horror stories and characters to open our eyes, and the notion of telling a laudable story was secondary to the educational efforts. Congrats. Now give me a story to care about.

Nate's Grade: C+
September 20, 2013
boxman
Nate Zoebl

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