Forbidden fruit has never seemed so poisonous than in Thanks for Sharing, a remarkably sensitive and surprisingly romantic ensemble drama about sex addiction. A winsome mix of funny, harrowing, and smart, it's most commendable for making characters who are addicted to bad behavior—and who refuse to blame themselves for it—somehow exceedingly sympathetic. Stuart Blumberg renders an incisive and humanizing portrait of addiction, as well as its attendant issues of self-restraint, self-esteem, and self-destruction. The daily struggle to is dramatized by three men, played by Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad, and Tim Robbins, who occupy various stages of sexual compulsion and control. In The Avengers, Ruffalo's baggy eyes and look of perpetual unease were perfectly exploited in rage-aholic Bruce Banner. They serve a similar purpose here; Ruffalo's elegantly monkish bachelor Adam never stops "working" to resist temptation. Entropy arrives in the form of Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a love interest Adam meets at an insect barbecue. (Is that what the rich and beautiful are up to these days?) Paltrow can generate sparks with anyone, but her character's hesitant courtship with Adam is captivating because Phoebe is the rare female romantic lead allowed to have a personality. She's as fun as she is eager to show off, and all the more charming for it. Around Adam, she’s a bird of prey: gimlet-eyed, aggressively athletic, ready to swoop in at the first sign of weakness. But he likes it. As a breast-cancer survivor, Phoebe is briskly breezy during their first sexual encounter: "Yes, my tits are fake. That's what happens when your real ones try to kill you."
Stuart BlumbergMark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Carol Kane, Pink, Josh Gad, Emily Meade, Michaela WatkinsStuart Blumberg, Matt WinstonMiranda de Pencier, David Koplan, Bill Migliore, Leslie Urdang, Dean VanechRoadside Attractions