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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Addicted 2014 * * 1/2 Stars

AddictedDirector: Bille Woodruff
Year: 2014
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Sharon Leal, William Levy, Boris Kodjoe

Addicted is essentially an uneven facade that in one instance, poses as softcore porn and in another instance, becomes a documented, public service announcement for sex addiction. It's a slick, trashy, yet mildly entertaining soap opera of a movie that unbeknownst to me, goes completely off the rails in its final half hour.

Directed by the guy who made Honey (2003) and Beauty Shop (2005) and based on a best selling novel of the same name, Addicted is like a carbon copy of 2002's Unfaithful. But where Unfaithful had a murder and a sored cover-up to that murder, this limited October release has a silly, kill-free twist at the end (I'm not gonna count a failed suicide as murder in case you're keeping score). It also has many more love scenes in it than Unfaithful not to mention a main character that ends up having more than just one affair.

The story begins with stunning, happily married businesswoman Zoe Reynard (played by Sharon Leal). She has the perfect life. She has two great kids, a husband who thinks the world of her, a loving, caring mother who lives with her (and is quite tolerable), and a beautiful home via the outskirts of Atlanta, GA. But wait a minute, her perfect husband isn't always fulfilling her everyday needs (sexually that is). He's never around and is always working. Her solution: Have a series of romantic trysts with a well revered painter (Quinton Canosa played by William Levy) and a womanizing club hopper (Corey played with minimal dialogue by Tyson Beckford). This leads to her addiction by which she literally ruins her career, fractures her family values, is forced to see a shrink, and decides in anguish, to (spoiler alert) commit freeway suicide. As mentioned earlier, Addicted walks a fine line between glamorizing sexuality and reiterating a certain sickness. As a result, the proceedings are choppy and disjointed despite a surprisingly good level of unpredictability.

Really in truth, this vehicle is almost saved by Sharon Leal. She gives a solid, realistically grim performance in the lead role as Addicted's disturbed test subject. As for the rest of the cast, they are comprised of mostly good looking people who's acting is not as seething or as sharp. In conclusion, this is a poster child for the effects of sex addiction and to be honest, it's not really about infidelity. Addicted in its 106 minute running time, makes two mistakes: It turns a character (Levy's Canosa) who doesn't really seem menacing enough, and makes him psychotic. The second mistake is that this thing climbs too close to becoming a therapeutic healing session for a specific audience (people that go to support groups for sex addiction or don't bother to get help at all for said addiction). And as the plot thickens, it feels less like an actual film going experience and more like a hidden cry for help. Bottom line: Addicted as a drama/thriller, may offer a certain kind of appeal. But for me, it just wasn't that "addicting".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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