'Thanks for Sharing' is worth seeing just for Mark Ruffalo's performance

While 'Thanks for Sharing' struggles with tone, many of the performances, including Ruffalo's and Tim Robbins', are impressive.

Roadside Attractions/AP
'Thanks for Sharing' stars Mark Ruffalo (l.) and Gwyneth Paltrow (r.).

A lot of good actors show up in “Thanks for Sharing,” and many of them are playing recovering sex addicts. Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo play long-term members of a 12-step program, as does Josh Gad, who is fired from his job as emergency room physician for lewdness.

It’s to the credit of director Stuart Blumberg (who also co-wrote with Matt Winston) that the situations are more often played for drama than for cheap laughs. Not always, though. The film is an all-over-the-place amalgam of tones, and the strong stuff (especially the scenes with Robbins and Ruffalo) are so much better than the goofball interludes (with Gad) that the entire enterprise periodically splits apart.

It’s worth seeing for the acting, notably by Robbins and, as his recovering addict son, Patrick Fugit (remember him from “Almost Famous”?). Most of all, there’s Ruffalo, who in his scenes with a very good Gwyneth Paltrow, plays a man who, with heartbreaking vulnerability, is straining to normalize himself. It’s a major performance in a minor movie. Grade: B (Rated R for language and some strong sexual content.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Thanks for Sharing' is worth seeing just for Mark Ruffalo's performance
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today