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On the surface Adam (Ruffalo), an over-achieving environmental consultant, Mike (Robbins), a long-married small-business owner, and Neil (Gad), a wisecracking emergency-room doctor, have little in common. But all are in different stages of dealing with addiction. Confident and successful in his career, Adam is afraid to allow love back into his life, even if that means losing a chance to start over with smart, beautiful and accomplished Phoebe (Paltrow); Mike's efforts to control his wife, Katie (Richardson), and son, Danny (Fugit), as tightly as he does his impulses are tearing the family apart; and Neil is still deeply in denial when befriended by Dede (Moore), who has just begun to take her own small steps back to health.. As they navigate the rocky shores of recovery, Adam, Mike and Neil become a family that encourages, infuriates and applauds each other on the journey toward a new life.
Top customer reviews
There are so many types of addiction.
This movie is about sex addiction, but also discusses other addictions, such as to alcohol, drugs, and food.
Different views on the seriousness of addiction are shown, with just a little bit of humor so that it is not depressing.
The story was very good and the acting was very good.
This movie was also full of hope.
There was a really powerful scene that touched me.
Adam, a recovering sex addict, relapses and is about to have sex with a woman, Becky, whom he used to "act out" with. They get out of control, and Becky becomes hysterical. It becomes obvious that something was just triggered for her about past sexual abuse. She locks herself in the bathroom and overdoes on pills that she finds in Adam's medicine cabinet. That experience gets Adam back on track again.
There was another scene that touched me.
Neil is a sex addict, lying to everyone in the group, by saying that he is doing well in recovery. The truth is that he just got fired for acting out at work. He breaks down and opens up in group, and says, "I'm out of control. I'm scared. And I need help." I could feel his pain and desperation.
The IMDB (6.4) is so-so and the Rotten Tomatoes (49%) is unconscionable, Comments at the latter suggest total ignorance of how people might be damaged -- and, more importantly, how we change and are put back together again. That is flippin' odd considering that one of the characters in the movie who is "not" messed up kinda sorta finds out how that might actually not be the case.
Several elements of the actual work of movie really, well ... work. Focusing on sex addiction, e.g., focuses attention because 1) it's not the usual Alcoholics Anonymous thing and 2) some might start watching with an attitude of, "Pfft. What's wrong with lots of sex with random people?"
Well, the movie says *this* is one thing that might be wrong, or rather three, since there are three couples in the story -- another technical point in the film's favor, as it does a pretty good juggling act therewith.
Heavy stuff. Worth the time.
As heavy stuff often is.
Beneath it all, it doesn't matter what marks you bear or how big your cross is, every human feels similar emotions. Stress, anxiousness, fear...it's all physiologically the same. What it is attributed to, related by, transposed upon, is what gives it negativity. Heights, public speaking and small spaces do the same things to people. It's only when you know that makes it unsavory.
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