Film review: Thanks for Sharing

Focusing on attendees at a self-help group as they fight courageously with an inability to keep mickies in pants, Donald Clarke won't be watching this one twice

Thanks For Sharing - Trailer

Film Title: Thanks for Sharing

Director: Stuart Blumberg

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Joely Richardson, Alicia Moore

Genre: Comedy

Running Time: 112 min

Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 00:00

   

Some way into this baffling, irritating comic drama – misleadingly marketed as a straight-up romcom – uptight eco-expert Mark Ruffalo tells flighty nuisance Gwyneth Paltrow that he has a terrible, terrible condition: he is a sex addict. “Isn’t that something guys just say when they get caught cheating?” she asks.

This is the only point at which doubt about the validity of this dubious ailment is raised. We go straight back to fretting about the poor fellow who is unable to stop himself rubbing against women on the subway. We are asked, yet again, to weep for the bloke who gave his wife an STD. And so on.

Steve McQueen’s Shame allowed the possibility that the protagonist’s incessant priapism stemmed from larger emotional issues. And the film-making was sufficiently intoxicating to distract from any worries about the central premise.

Here, focusing on attendees at a self-help group as they fight courageously with an inability to keep mickies in pants, this poorly written, valiantly acted film allows no such escape from psycho-baloney. It’s like watching a horror film that demands the viewer actually believe in the existence of ghosts. Where will this obfuscation of responsibility end?

Thanks for Sharing reaches a nadir with a closing sequence that plays Billy Bragg’s Tender Comrade beneath shots of the “sex addicts” bravely recommencing normal life. Hang on, isn’t that song largely about the first World War? Next week we shall be drawing parallels between compulsive telly watchers and members of the French Resistance. Ludicrous.