I have a friend who was poetically flawless, sumptious to behold: tall, pale, luminous Nordic beauty, thin and voluptuous simultaneously (before the image could be manufactured); everything she aspired to, she miraculously accomplished; honor roll, debate teem, cheerleader; legendary achievements, perpetually astounding all who revered her; even worshipped her. Until she tasted the fruit that would doom and consume her, alcohol; its magic transported her; she became ethereal, “dervishly” dancing for hours, enchanting; all basked in her aura, until she disappeared, replaced by a dire, manic, pitiful person, succumbing to the blackest void. Hers is a happy ending, she recovered, is still recovering; until the day she dies, will always be in recovery; she is to be respected and admired for her monumental courage.
She also taught me that one addiction cannot be isolated from other aspects of one’s life, addictions bleed and feed upon each other; watching this incredible film, “Thanks For Sharing”, focusing on sex –addiction (grown to epidemic proportions with the aid of the internet), director Stuart Blumberg is prescient in presenting men and women who battle with, until recently, this unaddressed, undiagnosed disease; a disease as debilitating, all-consuming, as alcohol, amphetamines, eating, gambling, shopping. Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit and a Falstaff clone, Josh Gad, give pivotal, clairvoyant performances as addicts and those trying fearfully, desperately to understand them, live with them.
“Thanks For Sharing” might be a touch ambitious, but never maudlin. It is remarkable in depicting the process, the stringent 12- step program: relentless, inflexible, intransigent; recognizing no boundaries, parameters, demographics, in regards to its applicants; there are no “get out of jail free” cards.
Mark Ruffalo’s phenomenal performance resonates with angst, pride, guilt, keen self-awareness; an individual who has paid his dues and survived.
“Thanks For Sharing” climbs into the soul of addiction and those who crawl their way to freedom/recovery shimmer with happiness; a happiness that can only be warranted by enduring the hottest flame; people to be envied, not pitied; esteemed, not denigrated; embraced, not shunned.
THREE &1/2 STARS!!!