Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thanks For Sharing - Review

Now this is how you make a movie about sex addiction. A swift digression brought on by a little scene at the start of the movie: one big difference between the 12 Step Fellowships in the USA and in the UK is that the American courts do order attendance at 12 Step Meetings, and it's clearly been the conscience of those groups to co-operate. I was the joint secretary of a reasonably large meeting for a year, I've done committee service and I've read the manual (yes, there's a manual) and I have never been approached by anyone asking to have me sign their card, nor have I heard of it, or even read about it in the manual. I think this is because the Courts here don't regard 12 Step Fellowships as suitably official enough, but I have a feeling that UK AA and others wouldn't co-operate even if it was asked. Can you see the headlines? "Driver who killed Annie (4) pronounced cured of alcoholism by AA". That's the British press for you. Nah. I don't think I'm voting to put anyone in the way of that.

Hollywood portrays 12 Step Fellowships sympathetically - a LOT of industry people are in it, and it's worked for them. But this movie isn't cute about it. Okay, so none of the guys will ever look like Mark Ruffalo, nor will any of the gals look like Pink (who appears as Alecia Moore and is Jolly Good Too). And I doubt there are as many slim good-looking women in New York as there were in the movie: America is the land of the obese. And of course, nobody her age looks like Gwyneth Paltrow. Not even her. 

There was just one scene that had me muttering "yeah, right, as if", when the Tim Robbins character has a row with his son after presumptuously and falsely, as it will turn out, accusing him of stealing some Percocet. Robbins goes into a Korean grocer and can't take his eyes off a black girl with hot pants and an afro who clearly time-warped in from the early Seventies, while he orders a bunch of lottery tickets and a fifth of bourbon. Just in time, his mobile rings and he's saved by the call for help from a fellow addict. My problem is that his character was a gajillion years sober, and while YMMV, mine tells me that I couldn't make that much sobriety if I reacted that strongly to anything. The people with long-term sobriety I know are nice enough and polite enough and they do their duty when called on, but they are pretty frikkin emotionally stable. After my friend's funeral, I blew off the rest of the afternoon, went home, ate some cake and chocolate (but not stuffing it), watched Rent and burst into tears over the "Will I lose my dignity / Will someone care" song. (As indeed any human being with feeling would.)  That was it. It didn't occur to me to take a drink or light a cigarette. However, I've heard people with fifteen years talking about their slips, so…

I'm not going to talk about the rest of the movie: it's full of scenes that ring true, or are true, because I've been there. The writers clearly know what they are talking about. And if you've ever worried that maybe you look at too much porn, or think about what some random woman would be like in bed too often, or your partner thinks you want sex too often, then go see this movie, and watch the scene where Josh Gan rubs himself up against a Chinese girl on the train. Yeah. You don't do that and nor do I. But those guys do.

Oh, and there was a killer line about triggers. "Anxiety, that's a big one". 

Identify? Moi? Meme pas!

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