Average User Score: 6.7Oct 2, 2013There is a lot to like about this movie. Great performances by Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad and Pink put a very human face on theThere is a lot to like about this movie. Great performances by Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad and Pink put a very human face on the different stages of dealing with the the real life tragedy of sex and love addiction. I consider this a wonderful "feel good" movie that has a broad range of emotions both comic and tragic and the producers took a big risk to focus on a subject matter sex and love addiction that is likely to make a portion of the movie going audience to uncomfortable. I wish this movie well.
There is a lot to laugh about in this movie but this movie is more than a comedy. There is plenty of drama in this movie also, and I found myself alternately laughing and crying as I found myself connecting and caring about the characters and hoping for good outcomes.
Joely Richardson plays Monica, the long suffering wife of Mike (Tim Robbins), a alcoholic/sex addict with 15 years of "sobriety" and unfortunately, there is not enough time in a 2 hour movie to flesh out her character. Clearly Mike (Tim Robbins) has made his life of recovery a big part of his life what is sometimes called a "bleeding deacon" and the relationship between Monica (Joely Richardson) and Mike seems harmonious until their addict son Danny (Patrick Fugit) returns home and the tension between a Mom and Dad dealing with their out of control son takes it's toll.
Enter Adam (Mark Ruffalo), a sex addict with 5 years of sobriety who is "sponsored" by Mike and ready to start dating again after choosing total abstinence to get his addiction under control. The great lengths Adam goes to in achieving sobriety seems rather ridiculous unless you realize the powerful nature of addiction, which is the subject of a later portion of the movie and some of Ruffalo's best work you feel his pain. Enter Phoebe (Gyneth Paltrow) as Adam's new love interest. Phoebe is a cancer survivor who has a compulsive relationship with food and fitness and the primary focus of their growing love centers on Adam's deep fear about revealing his history of addiction and losing Phoebe. The movie made me care about Adam and Phoebe both, hoping for a good outcome and a happy ending. I credit the writer's for taking us on some unexpected twists and turns that serve to highlight the reality of the disease of sex and love addiction.
Josh Gad is the comic relief in the move His character Neil is a young ER Doctor in the early stages of recovery from sex addiction and the movie takes a sympathetic look at the challenges and slips of making big changes in life to achieve sobriety. Neil is like a lot of sex addicts in early recovery, not taking it seriously until his addiction costs him his job. Pink is a scene stealer as Dede, a female sex addict also going through the torment of early recovery from sex and love addiction...yes, it happens to females too. The growing friendship between Neil and Dede is another element where you really care how things will turn out.
OK the movie is far from perfect. Some might see the Paltrow character as shallow but that is the point she is a total control freak, dealing with her own demons and the attraction between Adam and Phoebe makes sense as they are both finding a mirror into dealing with their own issues. Will they stay or will they run?
The drama and tension around Mike, Monica and Danny seems somewhat contrived and I attribute that to the movie choosing to deal with deep topics and attempting to wrap things up in less then 2 hours.
So yes, I like this movie. I like this movie a lot. I will confess my bias I am a sex and love addiction professional and my only stake in this is that I hope the movie will succeed enough that it will allow others in the movie industry to take risks like this to entertain and educate us in the sense that the movie handles this controversial movie topic with sympathy, humor and accuracy in depicting the disease and the road to recovery.
And, at the end of the day, I left this movie entertained. I laughed...a lot....I got choked up and cried. I applauded endings that were not totally cliche and yet, offered hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Go see this movie. Go see this movie with someone you love and care about. It will open you up and make you feel....… Expand