Thanks for Sharing Blu-ray Review

I must admit that I had never heard of the term “sex addiction” until one night in March 1989.  On that night, Wade Boggs, a third baseman for the Boston Red Sox and a former high school teammate of mine, explained his “problem” to Barbara Walters with his wife, Debbie, at his side.  As I sat there watching I couldn’t help thinking, “wow…who knew?”

Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow in Thanks for Sharing

THANKS FOR SHARING tells the story of three different men with one thing in common.  Adam (Ruffalo) has just celebrated his fifth year of sexual sobriety.  He owes much of this success to Mike (Robbins), his mentor in the program.  Finally there’s Neil (the always fun to watch Josh Gad), a doctor doing his best to keep his life together.  The film follows the three of them through their days and nights, including their relationships.  Mike is married to Katie (Joely Richardson), who has always been supportive of his efforts in helping himself and others.  Adam soon takes up with breast cancer survivor Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow).  Neil is a little harder to pin down, relationship wise, but even he soon meets the free-spirited Dede (Alecia Moore).  Things appear to be going right for everyone but, as they say, looks are often deceiving.

Josh Gad and Pink in Thanks for Sharing

Due to a “blink and you’ll miss it” release this past fall, THANKS FOR SHARING didn’t get the kind of promotion you would think a film with this cast, including two Oscar winners, would get.  Which is a shame because it does have some genuine moments of emotion.  As well as a few well placed jokes.  The film looks at the men’s addictions as seriously as if they were crack heads or alcoholics.  Not only must they admit to themselves that they have a problem but they must also share that information with their new partners, the better for them to understand what the men are dealing with.  That the actors on screen buy into the premise is a plus for the audience.  And credit director/co-screenwriter (with Matt Winston) for playing the material seriously.  You can’t help but chuckle when a member of the group proudly announces that he’s even stopped masturbating.  However, when you see how seriously the others in group accept that information, and acknowledge its importance, you almost feel bad for doing so.

Thanks for Sharing

The cast across the board does a good job.  Robbins has apparently cut his acting schedule down to a project a year so it’s always nice to see him on screen.  Supporting work by Carol Kane, Patrick Fugit and others keep the story moving along.  And if, like me, you think your eyes are playing tricks on you, yes that is singer Pink playing Dede.  She’s just credited as her real name.  Ruffalo is the workhorse here and he carries the film on his shoulders.  His scenes with Paltrow are the truest in the film and, if you’re a fan of the Marvel films, it’s nice to think about what would happen if Dr. Bruce Banner and Pepper Potts got together.  THANKS FOR SHARING may not be a classic, but it certainly deserved a better chance at the box office.

THANKS FOR SHARING BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  Presented in a 1.78.1 aspect ratio, the film makes great use of its New York City locations.  The interiors are sharp and bright and the scenes in Central Park will make you reach for your sunglasses.

Audio:  Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 this dialogue driven film come through loud and clear.

Filmmaker Commentary:  Blumberg and Winston talk about pretty much everything but the making of the film, often resorting to the “here’s where Mark walks up the stairs” prattle that I hate.  I can SEE him walking up the stairs.

Gags (2:39):  Hard to keep a straight face when the word “masturbation” gets tossed around (no pun intended)

Deleted scenes (9:50):  Four scenes that aren’t particularly missed.

One Step at a Time: Making of “Thanks for Sharing” (15:19):  a featurette about the making of the film with cast and crew interviews and film clips.

OVERALL 2.5
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