Pink shines in 'Thanks for Sharing'

Posted: September 20, 2013

"THANKS FOR Sharing" has been described as an exploration of society's problem with sex addiction and pornography, but that casts too narrow a net.

Josh Gad's character, for instance, doggy-rubs women on the subway, and uses homemade recording devices to photograph the undercarriages of his female co-workers.

This is invasive, public sexual assault, and suggests he has issues that transcend addiction, and require the immediate intervention of law enforcement.

It's also not funny, although "Sharing" seems to think so.

Thus "Sharing" has hired Gad, the roly-poly guy you hire when you can't get Jonah Hill or Jack Black, and positioned his grotesque activities as the sort of incorrigible behavior Hill might outgrow during an Apatow comedy.

The rest of "Sharing" is a familiar ensemble 12-step drama, with sex subbed for drugs and/or alcohol. Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins are sponsors and wizened veterans of the process - Ruffalo ready to start dating (Gwyneth Paltrow) after prolonged and prescriptive abstinence, Robbins unwilling to apply his recovery skills to his relationship with his own addiction-prone son (Patrick Fugit).

Pink turns up in a supporting role, and is quite good as a young woman whose compulsive need to relate to men via sex has ruined most of her friendships.

She bonds with Gad's character by lending him her bike and helmet (he's banned from the subway) and so we get the movie's "funny" visual - chubby Gad on a ladies bike, weaving unsteadily along the New York streets.

"Sharing" herniates itself trying to keep things light. You sense it didn't want to be austere, like last year's "Shame," a movie that left itself open to charges of buzz-stomping neo-puritanism.

"Sharing" tries to be loose and ends up being creepily off key. The whole subject gets more deft handling next week in Joseph Gordon Levitt's "Don Jon."


Blog: philly.com/KeepItReel

Online: ph.ly/Movies

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