Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Thanks for Sharing

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and strong sexual content
Profanity:Very strong and explicit language
Nudity/Sex:Frank discussion of sexual addiction including pornography, prostitution, and promiscuity with explicit sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and references to substance abuse
Violence/Scariness:Tense confrontations, some mild peril
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:September 20, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 7, 2014

thanksforsharing

Imagine that the one thing you cannot trust yourself to be near is around you all the time, wherever you go.  As difficult as it is to recover from addiction to drugs or gambling or alcohol, at least those in recovery can wall themselves off from the places and activities that act as their most dangerous triggers.  But sex addicts are surrounded by stimuli all the time.  “Is all of Manhattan just one big catwalk?” asks one character in this sympathetic portrayal of people who try to find a way out of what one of them calls his very dark places.  “It’s like trying to quit crack while the pipe is attached to your body.”

Sex addicts have to endure the ignorance of those who snicker or ask “Isn’t that just something men say when they get caught cheating?”  They have to ride in cabs with titillating videos playing in the back seat.  Adam (Mark Ruffalo) avoids temptation by not allowing himself to have a television, home access to internet, or a smartphone.  And he has walled himself off from another kind of temptation but not having a romantic relationship.

His sponsor, Mike (Tim Robbins), encourages him to try to date.  And when he meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), he wants very much to get close to her.  She is a breast cancer survivor, which may be one reason he feels that she can understand his struggles.  But at first he does not tell her the truth about himself.  Mike has a son, Danny (Patrick Fugit of “Almost Famous”), who has a history of substance abuse, and who returns home promising that this time is different.

Adam is a sponsor, too.  His “sponsee” is Neil, a doctor whose passion for saving others has been a way for him to avoid being honest with himself about his own behavior, which includes inappropriate touching of women he does not know and elaborate mechanisms for “upskirt” photography.  Being court-ordered will not be enough to get him to tell the truth; being fired could be a start.  As so often happens in 12-step programs, the key for Neil may be the chance to help someone else, someone he understands and who understands and helps him.  An outspoken hairdresser named Dede (rock star Alecia “Pink” Moore) who is in both the sexual addiction and “beverage” (alcohol abuse) programs calls him for emergency help and helping her is the first step in helping himself.

Mike, Tom, and Adam are all at different stages of their recovery, and each faces different challenges and hard truths.  Sometimes these are framed in the kind of “But that’s okay” support group-speak that Al Franken used to mock on “Saturday Night Live.”  “Why did I pick such a tough sponsor?” Adam asks wryly.  “I don’t know, maybe you wanted to recover,” Mike answers with a smile.  “United we stand, divided we stagger.”  “Thanks for bookending this for me.”  And you know someone will have to break down and say, “I’m out of control.  I’m scared.  And I need help.”  But, you know what?  That’s okay.

Co-writer/director Stuart Blumberg wisely spares us the easy explanations that allow us to feel smugly separate from those who struggle to achieve a sense of control, and he is frank about the dynamic, positive and negative, between those who struggle with addiction and those who maintain relationships with them.  The all-star cast delivers with performances of aching sensitivity and heart.  And if a brief moment in the film that has People Magazine’s most beautiful person alive Gwyneth Paltrow in sexy lingerie is the image that is being unironically widely used to promote the movie, well, that helps make its point.

Parents should know that this film concerns sexual addiction and there are frank discussions and portrayals of people who struggle with various kinds of obsessive and destructive sexual behavior. It includes very strong and explicit language, some drinking and references to substance abuse, and some mild peril and violence.

Family discussion: How does sexual addiction differ from other kinds of obsessive and compulsive behavior? Why was it easier for these characters to support and understand each other than to their families and romantic partners?

If you like this, try: “Don Jon” and “28 Days”



Previous Posts

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Black or White
Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive "The Upside of Anger," Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and usually

posted 5:58:45pm Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Black Sea
Two comments made by characters in this film summarize what it is that makes submarine stories so instantly compelling. "Outside is just dark, cold, and death," says one. "We all live together or

posted 3:51:06pm Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.