TORONTO -- Is sex addiction real? It's the question that, in the wake of scandals involving Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer and others, drove Stuart Blumberg to co-write and direct "Thanks for Sharing," which debuted Saturday night to a raucous crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and "Book of Mormon's" Josh Gad as three men in various states of recovery from sex addiction, the film is the comedic version of last year's challenging "Shame," focusing more on the communal aspect of 12-step programs, rather than the behavior that leads people into those rooms in the first place.
Ruffalo's character Adam serves as the heart of the film, a seemingly successful product of Sex Addicts Anonymous. But his five years sober has forced him into a monastic lifestyle: no TV, no smart phone, no masturbation. It's only when he's encouraged to start dating again, specifically with a character played by Gwyneth Paltrow, that it all falls apart.
For Ruffalo, who worked previously with Blumberg on "The Kids Are All Right," it was a role he found nearly impossible to get right.