NEW YORK (CNS) — Dramas about any form of addiction customarily exist in a tight moral universe. There are clearly limned ideas of right and wrong. Always, misdeeds bring harsh consequences.
"Addicted" (Lionsgate) keeps to that structure only briefly.
Since the film is based on the first in a series of erotic novels by Kristina Laferne Roberts — who goes by the pen name Zane — and the craving at issue is thus for sex, gaudy, elaborately choreographed bedroom activity soon takes over. From there on, the proceedings might be said to occupy that nether-nether land between soft-core pornography and a big-screen soap opera on the scale of Tyler Perry’s "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor."
So, no moral lessons here except for the brief interjections of a therapist, Dr. Spencer (Tasha Smith). She’s treating Zoe (Sharon Leal), a married mother of two who unspools sad stories about how she can never get a man to satisfy her, and is descending into sex addiction.
Director Bille Woodruff and screenwriters Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash emphasize considerable undulating in expensive negligees, unusually long shower times and gratuitous peeks at male backsides.
Despite a stable marriage to architect Jason (Boris Kodjoe) and the positive influence of her mother, Nina (Maria Howell), who helps run their Atlanta household, visual artists’ manager Zoe can’t shake the feeling she’s been missing out. Her husband has been her only man ever since high school.
First, there are secretive visits to online pornography, then a fling with sensuous painter Quinton (William Levy), who tells her, "I just love to watch the way your lips move." That ratchets up to acrobatic, drug-fueled casual sex at clubs with Corey (Tyson Beckford). Zoe’s time with her family plummets, and her obsession damages opportunities to expand her business.
There must be a cause to all this, right? Something perhaps from childhood? And who will finally intervene?
Well, it’s not a movie intended to leave anyone thinking, "What have we learned?"
The film contains strong sexual content — including graphically portrayed adultery, aberrant behavior and upper female and rear nudity — frequent rough language and much sexual banter. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.
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