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TIFF Capsule Review: 'Thanks for Sharing'

By Jason Anderson | Indiewire September 10, 2012 at 7:38AM

The directorial debut by "The Kids Are All Right" co-writer Stuart Blumberg, this ambitious comedy-drama about three men coping with sex addiction hits notes all the way up and down the scale. Often effective if inevitably erratic, the result finds room for everything from broad comedy to moments that strive for the darkness of "Shame," Steve McQueen’s far more severe take on the same subject. Mark Ruffalo gets the meatiest of the three central stories as Adam, a Manhattanite whose firm hold on his personal demons is tested when he falls for Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a woman who doesn’t know about his past. Adam’s sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins) also sees his hard-won sobriety jeopardized due to tensions caused by the return of his long-estranged son (a surprisingly beefy Patrick Fugit). Providing comic relief is Neil ("The Book of Mormon"’s Josh Gad), an ER doctor who’s able to get a handle on his issues with some help from a fellow addict played by singer Pink. Though Blumberg treats the topic with admirable frankness, the film’s insights would’ve had more impact if he wasn’t so quick to hop to the next storyline whenever matters get especially thorny. On the plus side, there’s much to enjoy about Ruffalo and Paltrow’s flirty rapport and the brief but hilarious cameos by David Wain and Carol Kane. Criticwire grade: B [Jason Anderson]
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The directorial debut by "The Kids Are All Right" co-writer Stuart Blumberg, this ambitious comedy-drama about three men coping with sex addiction hits notes all the way up and down the scale. Often effective if inevitably erratic, the result finds room for everything from broad comedy to moments that strive for the darkness of "Shame," Steve McQueen’s far more severe take on the same subject. Mark Ruffalo gets the meatiest of the three central stories as Adam, a Manhattanite whose firm hold on his personal demons is tested when he falls for Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a woman who doesn’t know about his past. Adam’s sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins) also sees his hard-won sobriety jeopardized due to tensions caused by the return of his long-estranged son (a surprisingly beefy Patrick Fugit). Providing comic relief is Neil ("The Book of Mormon"’s Josh Gad), an ER doctor who’s able to get a handle on his issues with some help from a fellow addict played by singer Pink. Though Blumberg treats the topic with admirable frankness, the film’s insights would’ve had more impact if he wasn’t so quick to hop to the next storyline whenever matters get especially thorny. On the plus side, there’s much to enjoy about Ruffalo and Paltrow’s flirty rapport and the brief but hilarious cameos by David Wain and Carol Kane. Criticwire grade: B [Jason Anderson]

This article is related to: Reviews, Toronto International Film Festival, Thanks for Sharing, Stuart Blumberg