Was The Kids Are All Right one of the most overrated movies of 2010? It was up there anyway. Its writer Stuart Blumberg has moved behind the camera to direct one of the most puzzling dramas of the year. Puzzling as in, 'Whaaaaaat?'
Manhattanite Mark Ruffalo is a sex addict five years sober and encouraged to get back in the dating game by sponsor Tim Robbins. As Ruffalo goes about tentatively wooing breast cancer survivor Gwyneth Paltrow, Robbins comes to terms with his own demons – his sex addiction resulted in wife Joely Richardson contracting hepatitis C and their drug-addicted son Patrick Fugit turns up looking to make good. Meanwhile, Josh Gad's doctor has been fired trying to film the upskirt of his superior, but finds a soul mate in fellow addict Pink.
Ruffalo is a fine actor (and who wouldn't want to see him in his own Hulk movie?) and it's all he can do to make this work. He and Paltrow make with the getting-to-know-you back and forth and their subplot provides a burning question - can a sex addict have a normal sexual relationship? But Blumberg prefers to cut to Robbins digging a pond in his back garden and to Josh Gad bouncing about the place instead of exploring it. Gad belongs in a different movie – his abrasive antics jar with the deathly serious Ruffalo and Robbins so thanks then to Pink, who actually isn't half bad in her one teary confession scene, to soften his rough edges as the movie progresses.
But what is Thanks For Sharing trying to do? What is it telling us? Everyone is addicted to something apparently. Paltrow is addicted to fitness. Richardson seems to suggest she's addicted to drama by marrying an addict. I'm addicted to the letter e because look how many times I've used it in this review. The script spends half its running time reassuring everyone that sex addiction is a real disease, as Robbins points out in his many sermons: 'It's like trying to quit crack when the pipe is attached to your body.' With so much convincing going on, there's little room for plot, which, when it does amble by, is nothing more than a Disease of the Week TV special.