Movie review: Sex addiction dramedy “Thanks for Sharing” overloaded

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From the September 19, 2013 edition

For a movie constantly toeing the line between comedy and drama, “Thanks for Sharing” actually handles its sticky topic (sexual addiction) quite admirably. The storylines around it, not so much.

Telling the tales of four people in varying degrees of recovery from sex addiction leaves things veering in too many directions, and you may experience whiplash going from one story to the next.

There’s Adam (Mark Ruffalo), the recovering addict slowly working his way into a new relationship with Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow). His sponsor, Mike (Tim Robbins), is dealing with the return of a prodigal son (Patrick Fugit), himself a former drug addict. And new group members Neil (Josh Gad) and Dede (Alecia Moore, aka Pink) struggle to connect with their addiction without, um, connecting.

Director/co-writer Stuart Blumberg (“The Kids are All Right”) doesn’t know when to say when, which is a shame because there are some fine performances, particularly from the affable pairing of Ruffalo and Robbins.

But the Paltrow relationship generally feels like a plot device, and the tone-shifts from humor to family drama and back are jarring.

A streamlined movie might not have been as affective at displaying the facets of addiction, but it would have served the story. “Thanks for Sharing” suffers from TMI.

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“Thanks for Sharing”

Opens Friday

2 1/2 stars out of 4