By Dave Montalbano
For almost 15 years, Roadside Attractions has distributed independent motion pictures with consistently profitable results and mostly critical acclaim. Super Size Me was their first documentary to be nominated for an Academy Award, The Cove won the “golden idol” and has become a blueprint for many documentaries about animal rights.
Regarding their fictional projects, they have earned a reputation for high artistic standards with a frugal budget. Winter Bone, Biutiful and Albert Nobbs earned Oscar nominations for Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Glenn Close, respectfully. With this success rate, highpriced actors often take a cut in salary to be in a motion picture distributed by Roadside Attractions.
Thanks for Sharing must have been produced when Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow had some free time during the production of The Avengers. With moments of light-hearted comedy, this film deals with sexual addiction.
Much like an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, Thanks for Sharing introduces three characters on a first name basis. Adam (Ruffalo) is celebrating five years of “sobriety” (actually, celibacy). Adam’s sponsor is Mike (Tim Robbins), a married man with a troubled son Danny (Patrick Fugit). New to the Sex Addiction Meeting is Neil (Josh Gad), a medical doctor who makes inappropriate moves on his boss and females in the subway.
At first, dealing with addiction is treated like a comedy. Adam and Phoebe (Paltrow) exchange banter like Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn. Being the youngest of the three, the overweight Dr. Neil gets involved with moments of slapstick and video technology. Being the oldest of the three, Mike shares some quiet moments with his wife (Joely Richardson) while performing miracles for strangers.
Of course, relationships unravel and the three men must confront outside forces that make their addictions more profound. At this point, the film tries to change its tone from comedy to tragedy. The transition is not successful, despite some interesting performances. (Kudos to rock singer Pink, a.k.a. Alecia Moore, as the one with the worst sexual addiction issues).
Based on the Judy Blume novel, Tiger Eyes, which opens tomorrow at Cinema Paradiso, won the Best Feature Award at the recent Palm Beach International Film Festival. Jewtopia also opens tomorrow. Based on the Off- Broadway play, this comedy about the marriage of a Jewish woman and gentile man stars Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Jon Lovitz and Rita Wilson as potential in-laws.