[Screen It]


(2014) (Sharon Leal, William Levy) (R)

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The following is an unedited version of our final review that may contain spelling, grammatical, and/or factual errors. This film was not screened in advance for reviewers before it opened.
Drama: A woman risks her marriage, family and career when she starts to act out her insatiable sexual addiction.
Zoe Reynard (SHARON LEAL) is a successful businesswoman who runs an artist representation firm in Atlanta with her small staff that includes her best friend, Brina (EMAYATZY CORINEALDI), who serves as her direct assistant. Zoe is also the mother of two kids with architect Jason (BORIS KODJOE), and would seem to have an idyll life. Yet, she's not satisfied, especially sexually, despite a quite active sex life with her husband.

That comes to a head when she meets Quinton Canosa (WILLIAM LEVY), a famous local artist she's long admired. It's not long before she's having an affair with him, but she begins to worry if she's just the latest in a long line of such women who show up in his artwork, such as the sexy Diamond (KAT GRAHAM) who takes a liking to Zoe. When Quinton wants Zoe to leave Jason, she decides to add another sexual partner in the form of Corey (TYSON BECKFORD) who she meets at a club.

As she separately continues to have sex with both of them, she ends up seeing therapist Dr. Marcella Spencer (TASHA SMITH) for help. Yet, Zoe isn't ready to discuss her past or accept the fact that she's a sex addict, a condition that's now threatening to ruin her marriage, family and business.

OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics (or are done so late the night before they open) is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

Despite being a psychology major, I'm still not fully convinced that "sexual addiction" is a real thing. Yes, the mating act is quite often on the mind of many a man (as well as women, but not to the same extent), but I think the diagnosis is just a way of turning naughty behavior -- be that just simply randiness or the more troubling infidelity -- into a malady that victimizes people. That said, it can certainly be an intriguing subject matter in movies, as was evidenced in the fairly hardcore "Shame" (with Michael Fassbender).

A movie that's not a good example is this week's release of "Addicted." And that's because director Bille Woodruff -- working from a screenplay by Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash -- wants to have his cake and eat it too. By that, I mean the "addiction" is designed to be a troubling element in what's supposed to be a cautionary tale. But the sex scenes are shot in such a hot and steamy fashion (and accompanied by a score that's not quite "boom-chick-a-wah-wah" but is definitely soft core porn fueled) that you'd have expect to see this sort of thing on Skinemax, uh, Cinemax.

Of course, that really shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering the source material was penned by "Zane" -- a.k.a. erotic novelist Kristina Laferne Roberts -- whose work has been a staple on the cable channel for years (most notably in the series "Zane's Sex Chronicles"). Thus, we have steamy scenes with lots of presumably simulated sex, along with boring drama padding the film's 105-some minute runtime. The filmmakers try to jazz things up by adding some late-in-the-game peril when one of the lovers (William Levy) decides to inexplicably become a dangerous dude to our protagonist (Sharon Leal), but none of it's interesting or engaging, let alone entertaining or, shock of all shocks, erotic.

If you're addicted to good filmmaking, you'll want to go full-out cold turkey on this cinematic turkey long before you even think about sitting down to see it. "Addicted" rates as a 3 out of 10.

Reviewed October 10, 2014 / Posted October 10, 2014

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