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'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.

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'Thanks for Sharing' stars Mark Ruffalo (l.) and Gwyneth Paltrow (r.).

Roadside Attractions/AP

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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.)

 

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