Thanks For Sharing Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 28, 2014
The main problem with this film is that it splits time between three different sets of couples so we barely get a glimpse into their lives and their struggles with their disease. This is most evident by our main character barely ever being onscreen, and most of his issues aren't touched upon. Ruffalo's character struggles with his addiction and honorably refrains while in a relationship, charting the new waters between lust and love. Still, we don't know him as a character, so his growth doesn't really interest us. We don't know who he was before when he was suffering from his addiction, or how he eventually starting going to treatment, or what steps he should have taken with his love interest. The other two storylines are more fleshed out, but only one really peaks interest. Robbins is married with a son who he most atone towards, since he was a drunk and a womanizer while he was a child. This is an impressive storyline that shows the bleak reality of addiction and its effect on loved ones. Josh Gad and Pink play newly anointed sex addicts who navigate friendship and each grow substantially over the course of the film. Theirs is the most fulfilling, funny, and heartwarming storyline, and the only entertaining part of this film. Otherwise it's a very watered down drama that only tells some aspects of this disease.
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2014
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..
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
February 20, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2013
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.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2013
"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+
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2013
Sex addiction is often misunderstood or simply stated, unrelatable. However, in the directorial debut of writer Stuart Blumberg ("The Kids Are All Right"), "Thanks For Sharing", Mark Ruffalo takes front and center as our protagonist Adam, a sex addict that has been clean for five years. Similar to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, sex addicts share in groups and thrive in the buddy system to help one another kick their temptations. These people's jobs, health, social status, and self esteem are on the line, and the idea of sex addiction becomes real as you feel for each and everyone of these characters, Ruffalo offers a perfect performance in the film, as he struggles to stay "sober" while facing a new, and very sexual relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow, who has never looked better. Following the normal romantic comedy story arc, complete with lying, finding out, and reconciliation, the film reaches some dark moments and benefits from every single one. Tim Robbins and Josh Gad offer up the film's intersecting story-lines, both recovering sex addicts dealing with different parts of the addiction spectrum. Robbins' character is a huge support system for addicts, mentoring many different people, but skipping some duties as husband and former-deadbeat dad. Patrick Fugit, as Robbins' son, offers up one of the most powerful performances and even though his arc delves into the melodramatic, his outbursts and reactions are the highlights of his scenes. Josh Gad then plays the immature sex addict, not ready to take responsibility for his actions, but facing the loss of dream job as a doctor, he is forced to face himself as well as a fellow addict, played by Alicia Moore (Pink). Although this often feels like the lower tier storyline, there's plenty of emotions to be felt, as well as some much needed comic relief. The relationships in the film feel real and come from a very natural place. Very similar to the writing of "The Kids Are All Right", the dialogue reads very natural and cohesive, never wasting a breath and developing the characters through and through. "Thanks For Sharing" tackles the world of sex addiction from a straightforward standpoint and spells out the distinction of what this "disease" really is. Marked with several outstanding performances and an emotional connection to the characters and the material, the film accomplishes so many things without adhering to either the dark world of addiction like in "Shame" or to the hokey romantic comedy side of film, but straddles a line in between that is entertaining from beginning to end.
August 24, 2014
Aside from the fact that every movie I see Tim Robbins in, I just want to hit him right in the throat. Mark Ruffalo made the movie for me. Storyline cool. Directing/Producing great. But seriously, how does Tim Robbins keep getting work?!
½ January 6, 2014
Not as comical as I thought it would be. Dealt with some really hard stuff thats not really talked about in real life.
June 7, 2014
I've always had an affinity for Mark Ruffalo, and I was really surprised at how good an actress Pink is. Overall, this is a bit difficult to watch because of its uncomfortable subject matter and tendency toward being depressing, but it's well acted and for the most part I'm glad I watched it.
January 28, 2014
The timing of this film worked out since I happen to be in the counseling class "groups" right now and this film really celebrates group work. There was nothing particularly substantial about the movie as it followed a very familiar narrative arc.
½ January 21, 2014
I reasonably good drama dealing with a tough subject (additction) and how that affects the lives of different people. While the movie is light at times, it is definitely not a comedy. Solid performances by Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth, Tim Robbins, and Pink. Reminded me a bit of When a Man Loves a Woman in dealing with tough, deep material.
½ July 19, 2013
I liked this move. The story was good and you really felt for the characters. Alecia Moore (Pink) did a really good job acting in this movie, the first movie I have seen her in. When the movie showed all the characters going through their dark moment in recovery, that was the best part. You really felt bad for them.
I suggest buying this movie. You will not regret it.
½ January 14, 2014
Sex addiction has become quite the subject in movies these days, whether for drama (Shame) or a comedy with some serious undertones (Don Jon). Another such example of the latter is Thanks For Sharing, which stars the great Mark Ruffalo, a great actor in fine form as Adam, a guy in a 12-step program to try and keep it in his pants for a change. He gets support mainly from Mike (Tim Robins) his sponsor from the program, but things get shaky when he meets a woman and attempts to have a real relationship with her. That would be Gwyneth Paltrow. And so Adam must spill his entire history to her. Ruffalo and Paltrow do an excellent job of bringing a ring of truth to this relationship. Screenwriter Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) makes his directing debut, but he struggles with his scene set-ups. What really works and makes the film are the therapy sessions, which have Josh Gad as a jerk-off expert and the best scene-stealer in Alecia Moore, also known as Pink who runs away with every scene she's in as Dede a sex addict doing her best to come to terms with her struggle. Watching her is pure pleasure. Thanks For Sharing may have some tonal issues, but its heart is never in doubt.
January 13, 2014
Thanks for Sharing is a movie split between two tones. It can't tell what it wants to be, a sentimental, indie rom-com or a serious depiction of sex addiction. There are times where writer/director Stuart Blumberg really delves into the subject matter, and at those times the film is actually pretty decent. Unfortunately, the movie flounders in its predilection for indie movie tropes and the poor chemistry between Ruffalo and Paltrow's characters.

I really wasn't interested in Paltrow and Ruffalo's romance. I found they're puppy love flirtations to simply be annoying, and so I didn't really care whether they stuck it out or not. I did find Ruffalo's performance to be interesting, but couldn't stand his character arc. It felt so formulaic for him to go the direction he went.

The character and performer that I enjoyed the most was Josh Gad's new to the program addict. Gad has a raw honesty that makes him endearing, and I really felt like his character was the heart of the first 45 minutes. I wish he had more to do other than deal with the worst character in the film, Alicia Moore's tough girl. I could have done without her in this film.

There is a lot of good material here about the benefits of 12 step groups and community to help you get through your addiction. Plus, it was helpful to see a movie about addiction that had a hopeful twist. Even if the film didn't really deal with addiction with the weight it deserves, I did appreciate Blumberg's positive spin on recovery.

As a writer, I think Blumberg has some interesting ideas. I did find his dialogue to be a little weak, but overall I think he's a solid screenwriter (I really enjoyed The Kids Are Alright and The Girl Next Door). Unfortunately, he's not a strong enough director yet to handle a script or a cast of this magnitude. He doesn't seem capable of balancing all the different story threads in a way that is satisfying, and he leans too much on indie movie tropes like hipster characters and indie rock music.

There is some good material here, and a few interesting performances. Unfortunately, Thanks for Sharing is too shallow and uneven to be a great film.
January 4, 2014
I have to say, Alecia Moore (Pink) does have some acting chops. She may have been the best thing in this film.
½ December 29, 2013
Really enjoyed this. Didn't wrap things up too smoothly. I don't know anyone going through SA, but I do know a lot of addicts, and boy did this seemed fairly accurate to their personalities.
½ March 12, 2014
It has some pretty good performances and it's charming. But's it's no nymphomaniac. Lars Von Trier dealt with it with no fear and made it bold.
This seems to shy away from showing sex addictions true nature.
March 15, 2015
I watched this movie without knowing anything about it aside from the actors/actresses that starred in it. This movie didn't present itself as a rom-com to me although it had some of those tones in it. Instead, it falls flat, despite that it's idea was solid and the talented cast to boot. This film seemingly had no clear vision or theme as its scatters its story and main point. I think the potential was there and there are some one-liners that are insightful and slightly funny. That however is not enough to save this lack-luster film with no solid substance.
February 20, 2015
Outstanding performaces by Ruffalo, Robbins, Gwyneth, Gad and even Pink. It treats a very delicate subject with smart humor and some "feel good" kick.
½ February 6, 2015
Great mixed of comedy & drama
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