I Am a Sex Addict
I Am a Sex Addict
is an odd mishmash of documentary and fantasy,
comedy and melodrama, titillating sex and depressing sex (okay, there is not
much titillation here), unashamed, dark confession and self-righteous
indignation. It's also somewhat charming and kind of creepy, all at the
same time. It may be the first film in a new genre call it a mockudrama.
Filmmaker Caveh Zahedi has
opened up in extraordinary ways about his sexual compulsions and his
long-standing need for prostitutes and how it has affected his romantic
relationships, but he tells it in a po'faced comic
manner which softens his points (intended) and sometimes trivializes them
(not likely intended.) He seems to be working hard to get us to like
him, and in some ways he is a disarmingly pleasant host.
He is a nebbish and a total
freak, a nice guy who is totally perverted, driven not only by an
uncontrollable urge for stimulation but also a weirdly passive-aggressive
need for total disclosure.
However, we also find that
he is often self-centered, jealous and cruel foisting his sexual perversions
cruelly on the women in his life in the name of honesty. Believe me,
I'm a guy, I get where he is coming from and I often haven't been the most
compassionate partner. Yet, even I was amazed by his
thoughtlessness to women who he supposedly loved. He expects the
lovers in his life to gamely accept the fact that he has a compulsion with
sex with hookers, yet he is startlingly intolerant of their foibles.
The fact that he's witty and he kind of acknowledges this unfair imbalance (though not always), doesn't make
him seem like less of an asshole.
The actresses playing prostitutes in this
film are all incredibly sexy no toothless tranny streetwalkers in
Zahedi's fantasy world. Then again, the insanely patient women that he
dates are also way too hot to put up with this goofy loser and all of his issues.
is compounded by the fact that he often shows a little real-life footage of the real
woman he is portraying and without fail they are not nearly as attractive as the
actresses he has hired to be their stand-ins.
Zahedi keeps breaking the
third wall to let us know this is just a movie, after all, so give him a
break. However the broad way that he treats his material sometimes
crosses a line to the uncomfortable for example he appears to be the
world's most uncontrollable moaner when receiving oral sex, and we see this
often, though thankfully other than his over-the-top reactions it is mostly
done tastefully. However, from the second the prostitute bends down he
sounds like a dying whale. So is he trying to be funny here? It
appears to be some sort of gag, though I can't say I really consider it
Yet, for all these
problems, I Am a Sex Addict does have a breezy fascination and a
charming self-examination. It's perfectly fine that
Zahedi uses film to work through his demons. (It's a movie as a
twelve-step program) I'm glad that he is able to take such a warts and
all look at himself and it's also nice that
he does it in such a light, unpredictable way. The happy ending,
though apparently true, does seem a little tacked on. However you
can't begrudge the guy the soulmate that he has been searching for,
according to his narration, since he was only five. I hope for her
sake there won't be a sequel.
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Posted: October 17, 2006.