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Thanks for Sharing explores the complicated lives of those in a 12-step program…for sex addiction

“It’s like trying to quit smoking crack when the pipe is attached to your body.”

Going into Stuart Blumberg’s (The Kids Are AlrightThanks for Sharing I was not really aware of the extremities a good percentage of the population will go to for sex. OK maybe I was a little bit, but I didn’t know there was a 12-step program for this case of horniness. But there is, and much like any drug sex can take over to the point where they’re humping up against random strangers on the subway just to feel a little something.

Thanks for Sharing, hence the title, circles around six characters who are all in different steps of their sexual sobriety—-and their awkward, bumpy road to overcoming the fiending need to do the sex. Adam (Mark Ruffalo), who’s been sex-free for five years (along with eliminating television, porn—he doesn’t even own a laptop—, and smartphones from his life) has been relieved of any temptations until the seemingly happy-go-lucky blonde Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow) comes along at a party and strikes his fancy enough to start dating. The problem is: he can’t break it to her that he hasn’t had sex in a while.

Adam’s sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins), who’s a recovered sex addict and alcoholic himself, encourages Adam to date Phoebe so as long as it is within the means of a “real” relationship. But how does one attach love to sex when their past is haunted by meaningless affairs with hookers and nights filled with serial masturbation?

The group of sex addicts, as gruesome as they are with their former lifestyles, are pretty hilarious. And when newcomer Neil (Josh Gad) comes along due to a mandatory court-order to start after his repeatedly offensive public groping, he brings a definite offensive comic relief to the group (he gets fired from his ER job after sneakily filming up his boss’ skirt.)

Even Mike, the leader of the pack so to speak, has his battles. His former addiction left his still devoted wife Katie (Joely Richardson) with Hepatitis C, and his estranged son comes back in the picture after years of disappearance and drug addiction. When he shows up late at night to their home, Mike’s past is slowly revealed along with his imperfections.

As the story goes, all of the sex addicts—while not totally perfect in their sober attempts—can all come together at the end of the day to accept the fact that the city, full of temptations and desire, makes for a whacky experience where even walking down the bloody street full of leggy women seems almost insufferable.

There’s even an appearance by Pink, who plays the tatted up “only can relate to guys with sex” character, who, surprise, surprise, relates mostly to Adam (they hit it off—almost to the point where they’re hooking up.)

Thanks for Sharing is a cringeworthy film that is somehow simultaneously lighthearted and funny. You’ll leave the theater wondering just how these people do it, considering their inexcusable desirous need to “get it in”.

(photo via The Duke Chronicle)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.