Director: Stuart Blumberg
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad, Tim Robbins
Gwyneth Paltrow, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Pink
Let's take a minute to talk about Stuart Blumberg. This is his directorial debut, but he's been writing screenplays for quite a while. His three films before Thanks for Sharing were Keeping the Faith, The Girl Next Door, and The Kids Are All Right. Those are three very underrated movies with very well-written stories. So this might be Blumberg's first attempt at directing, but he knows his way around a plot. He also knows Mark Ruffalo, having worked with him on The Kids. Talk about underrated. Ruffalo is a very talented guy, someone who flies under the radar too often and doesn't get the credit he deserves. We Don't Live Here Anymore, Eternal Sunshine, Zodiac, Blindness, Shutter Island, and soon Foxcatcher; all films that feature Ruffalo's talent in a variety of ways. So combine Blumberg, Ruffalo, & a fascinating cast and you've got a film that, at the very least, will have you talking tomorrow.
This is a movie about addiction. Adam, a good-looking executive, is a sex addict. He's been sober for five years, meaning no porn, no prostitutes, no masturbation, anything sexual relegated to a committed relationship only. Mike is his mentor and is also a recovering addict. Add alcohol to his list, a drug that nearly destroyed his family before he regained control with the help of the support group he now heads. Neil is an anxiety-ridden doctor who's coping mechanisms are sex & food, two things that he just can't seem to get enough of. This a story of the lives of these three men, how they cope with their addictions, and the events that lead them to change, both good & bad. Adam meets a the beautiful Phoebe and struggles with dating, Mike can't welcome back the son has that has been estranged for so many years, and Neil attempts a friendship with a female after dehumanizing them for so long. Each character attempts to live one day at a time, controlling an addiction that they refuse to let control their happiness anymore.
Good thing the acting was spot of in this one, because the subject matter was intense. It's labelled as a romantic comedy, but it's not that at all. It's an addiction tale, a snapshot of the difficulties of beating & living with a demon that wants nothing more than to rip your life to shreds. It's extremely honest & forthcoming, leaving no details safely locked away. Disease, court orders, self hatred, anger, relapses; the naked truth is right here to watch and it's not pretty. Now, this is still a Hollywood film, it's not a brutal documentary, but the reality of the situation is here on display and the actors do all they can to portray it. Ruffalo is great, as always, Robbins is solid, and Gad is surprisingly good as Neil. He has some really revealing moments that were probably personally difficult, but he holds nothing back with this character. Even Pink was strong in a small role and her presence felt believable rather than a ploy to attract audiences. The same could be said for the film; it nailed it's goal, to shed light on addiction, and it never felt like a cheap trick to get us to watch. The story was honest, the actors were committed, and the movie as a whole succeeded.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I totally agree. This was a heavy topic dealt with delicately and tastefully. I loved Josh Gad and Pink's characters. I really felt like I learned something from this movie, or at least had a better understanding of how other people's minds work. Fascinating!ReplyDelete
It was a learning experience, an expose really.Delete