Friday, March 10, 2017


Directed By: Stuart Blumberg 
Written By: Stuart Blumberg & Matt Winston 
Cinematography By: Yaron Orbach 
Editor: Anne McCabe 

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Alecia Moore, Tim Robbins, Patrick Fugit, Joely Richardson, Carol Kane, Emily Meade, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Michaela Watkins, David Wain, Brian Koppelman 

A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.

This film is kind of revelatory in subject matter though not as shocking as one might think. As it tackles rehab culture and those who are in it. Though instead of drugs and/or alcohol this film's main focus is in sex addiction.

It took awhile to realize the only one not really dealing with a sexual addiction so much is Tim Robbins whose main vice seemed to be alcohol which then would lead to wanton sex.

The film is more an ensemble film so it's episodic in nature.

The film has Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo as successes though we see their struggles. What changes for them is that they are challenged Robbins by his drug addicted son coming back home who now appears to be clean and did it without rehab. Who Robbins has a hard time forgiving for the various acts he did when an addict and for Ruffalo beginning a romantic relationship for the first time in years.

They both try to mentor Josh Gad's character a doctor who seems above all else to have impulse control and who the film sets up as comedic relief and a clown but through whose character we get to the heart and depth of the story.

Though the film makes him come off as a truly repulsive pervert at first. Who is always sweaty and looks disgusting and disheveled. The film puts him through the most when it comes to embarrassment. Too tight clothing, physical comedy getting assaulted, fired, throwing up on himself. Riding a girls bike. He eventually cleans up and becomes a decent character. After hitting rock bottom and starting a sweet platonic friendship with a fellow sex addict played by Alecia Moore (aka P!nk) they even have a nice flirtation dance scene. The film eventually puts him in better clothes and not as sweaty. Though his is the heart of the film.

What might be insulting for his character in the film, is that it seems the sex addicts all seem like they can easily get sex where as his sexual compulsion isn't the actual getting bit more constant masturbation and spying on women as well as running up against them

Mark Ruffalo's romance portion of the film is interesting as it shines a light on how a sex addict not only lives his life but deals with romance and sex in a relationship and the honest reaction the partner played by Gwyneth Paltrow feels and deals with it. Though the part of her having her own mental issues feels thrown in and a argument point for him to make.

Once he begins his inevitable slide back into addiction it is shocking at how graphic the film becomes but also represents the dark side that doesn't become exploitive at all. Though does lead to a scared straight scenes with the character of Becky in the third act that comes out of nowhere. Though does allow to show that someone he used in the past might have their own mental problems getting back with him. Though it is never revealed and probably isn't if it is because of their previous relationship. Though her character comes in and always seems awkward and off.

It also makes you wonder exactly when did he date her as he has been celibate for 6 years. Was she his last as she looks very young. Tin Robbins section is revelatory in the fact that he advises people in rehab who look up to him and it is kind of addicting where he feels he is always right and has never quite made amends with the People he hurt in life before when he was a drunk.

It's nice to see him and his son in the film bond, but you can understand where his son is coming from when he is open and forgiving with others and makes time for them but not his son. Who whenever they are having a good time has to leave and treats Mark Ruffalo more like a son then him.

The irony that is presented is that while at the beginning of the film. Josh Gad's rehab is court ordered and doesn't look to get any better as he isn't really trying to change. So when he finally starts to do better his mentors or sponsors start messing up. Even though through the beginning they have been merciless on him.

The films humor is never laugh out loud funny. Not depressingly emotional dramatic. It just always stays towards the middle. Leaving you to take away what is presented, but never having any depth. So that the film ends up being not the best but a nice time.
The film offers many moments and revolving emotions. They all involve tragedy though Gad's storyline is more comedic and sweet after a more sinister beginning
As it Doesn't try to be bigger than it is or more complicated. And Thankfully not as graphic as it could have been

It’s a film that is predictable but offers a few surprises. It plays it straight though makes it's Mark inadvertently

Grade: C+

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