Thanks For Sharing
This is the debut from director Stuart Blumberg, who wrote The Kids Are All Right. And maybe it’s because he only drafted the screenplay for Thanks For Sharing, but the emotion and depth of this film is very weak in comparison.
It seems Blumberg couldn’t make the transition from female to male perspectives, which is weird considering he’s a male. Every emotional moment, whether romantic or family orientated, feels so forced and “done before” that it’s likely he had a lot of female input for The Kids Are All Right.
I guess for a film about guys coping with sexual addiction, it’s just weird they would all demonstrate the characteristics of hopeless romantics.
This film is all about relationships, between couples, friends, family and sponsors. Some of them work really well, depending on the actors and their on-screen chemistry, but most of them also fall flat for the same reason.
Here’s my overview of the different character relationships in Thanks For Sharing:
|Actors||Relationship||Does it work?||Why?|
|Ruffalo & Paltrow||Romantic||No||Too many cringe-worthy moments… “Do I have something on my chin? Where?” *kiss* *vomit*|
|Ruffalo & Robbins||Sex addict & sponsor||No||They act like having a sexual addiction is cool… it’s not.|
|Ruffalo & Gad||Sponsor & sex addict||Yes||Ruffalo is good at being a prick and there’s no forced emotion between them|
|Robbins & Richardson||Husband & wife||No||We get no insight into what makes them such a long-lasting couple|
|Robbins & Fugit||Father & son||Almost||Fugit makes this work, but there are some really soppy moments (like when they wrestle)|
|Gad & Pink||Sponsor & sex addict||Yes||This isn’t forced chemistry. It’s not so much about the development of their relationship, but the development of each character as a result of their relationship|
To be honest, if it wasn’t for Josh Gad, this film would have completely lost me. The entire film should have revolved around his character, as he’s the only one you actually believe has a real problem.
His character’s addiction is immoral and ultimately ruining his life, unlike the others who just have a strong urge to masturbate and have sex (if that’s all it takes then most teenage boys could be branded sex addicts!)
Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins are just too good looking and smug when they’re together, that you really can’t sympathise with them at all.
In fact, Robbins is bordering “creepy old dude” turf in this one, and even though he’s supposed to be this cool, spiritual hipster, I couldn’t help but seeing him as his character from High Fidelity. The only moments where he shows any depth are in the final scenes with his son and his empathy for a fellow addict.
Apart from Gad, who is the clear winner here, both Patrick Fugit and Pink do well with their relatively minor roles. It felt like Fugit was just following on as his character from Almost Famous, and his drug habit is the result of life in the music business.
This will appeal to mostly females as a by-the-numbers chick flick, but it fails to connect on any deeper level. It’s much better towards the end when it gets a bit darker, but that just makes you wonder why they didn’t stick with that tone the entire film. The contrast between light and heavy is just too inconsistent.
For a more believable film about sex addiction, you’d be better going with something completely fucked up like Shame or something completely vulgar like Choke.