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Real Life Sex Addict David Duchovny Portrays Sex Addiction Within Marriage

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

Updated July 24, 2011

The Bottom Line

Despite not being a Duchovny fan, I found his portrayal of otherwise "normal" sex-addict husband and father Tom, surprisingly enjoyable. Worth a viewing if only for the scene where Tom (David Duchovny) and his wife, Rebecca (Julianne Moore) attempt, unsuccessfully, to bond over porn.
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Pros

  • Stars David Duchovny, a real life sex addict, as a fictional sex addict.
  • Occasional moments of insight into real issues.
  • Entertaining viewing.

Cons

  • Stereotypical portrayal of men and women.
  • Unbelievably shallow peripheral characters.
  • Superficial portrayal of children, who were little more than props.

Description

  • Tom and Rebecca have long-term marital difficulties due to differences in sex drive.
  • Tom enjoys pornography and frequent masturbation in a seemingly unproblematic way.
  • Their marriage runs into trouble when Tom begins an affair, leading to their separation.

Guide Review - Real Life Sex Addict David Duchovny Portrays Sex Addiction Within Marriage

First and foremost, this film is a light romantic comedy, so the matter-of-fact revelation that the lead character, Tom, is a sex addict comes as something of a surprise.

Tom and Rebecca seem locked in a struggle of mismatched sex drives, a problem they take semi-seriously with annual visits to a relationship therapist. While the problem is out in the open, and the therapist's advice is clear and appropriate, Tom and Rebecca fail to work things out, prompting him to respond to the unlikely advances of another parent at his child's preschool.

Tom begins to attend "Sex Addicts R Us" meetings, clearly a parody for Sex Addicts Anonymous, but with odd flashes of realism. While somewhat trivializing the serious issue of sex addiction, the film does show sex addicts as diverse people with complex and varied problems.

Tom's initial inability to share honestly with the group eventually gives way to insight, the building of trust, and ultimately, action in terms of taking steps to resolve his difficulties with Rebecca.

The subplot of the relationship struggles of Rebecca's brother/Tom's best friend, Tobey, and his girlfriend, Elaine, rather weakens the message of the film, stereotyping both men and women. The trio of female sexual predators lack credibility, but at least provide some mild amusement, while Elaine's new boyfriend provides the film's low point.

Disarmingly pleasant, with no sexually explicit content, this movie might provide a gentle way of introducing the difficult topic of sex addiction to a spouse or romantic partner.

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