Thanks for Sharing (2012)
Films about support groups and self-help programs tend to come off as softened versions of reality, in the sense that even if the problems depicted are serious enough and presented in a credible manner, better times always seem to be just around the corner. This goes for Stuart Blumberg's directorial debut Thanks for Sharing as well, a film with so much heart and sympathy that we're just waiting for the characters to get over themselves. This may sound as heavy criticism, but hey, why not call it positivity instead and simply celebrate it. There are enough pessimists around, and Blumberg certainly ain't one of them. Neither is lead character Adam, a five years "sober" sex-addict played by Mark Ruffalo, who's so affable I almost wanted to become a sex-addict myself after having watched him deal with his own and others' problems for a couple of hours. He falls in love with the fiery Gwyneth Paltrow, who must get to terms with her new lover's "condition". And please don't let these scare quotes insult you, I'm not saying sex-addiction cannot be a condition, I'm just saying that in Thanks for Sharing, everything is treated pathologically, which does put me (and I suspect others) off a bit, but which doesn't make the film less interesting. Because it absolutely is - interesting that is. And Blumberg directs with an agreeable pace and purpose, making us care about these oddballs, with their many varieties of addictions and disorders. The ensemble acting is among the film's very best features, with Alicia Moore (aka Pink) impressing in only her second feature.