Pay attention. You’re about to catch me on a rare judgmental
Everyone has aspects of their personal lives that they are not
proud of. Everybody has problems dealing with their shame. Caveh
Zahedi bravely chose to wear his heart on his sleeve when
he made this movie, but I was not impressed with what I saw. I saw
a man in a tuxedo giving a monologue before his third marriage.
He explained in detail the chain of events that led him from one
failed relationship to the next to the next. He is a sex addict
(supposedly). He failed to keep his soulmate from college because
of his aversion to commitment. He failed to love his wife of convenience
because she cost him his soulmate. He failed to be happy with the
next woman because he could not keep his mind off prostitutes. He
failed with the woman after that because he could not help her with
her alcoholism, despite her best efforts to help him with his sex
addiction. Shortly afterward, he joins a support group.
I Am A Sex Addict starts as a cute movie because Caveh
pokes fun at the fact that he has little to no budget for this film.
He jokes about not being able to shoot in Paris, the fact that he
accidentally got a porn star to play a whore and an alcoholic to
play a boozer, and that he is far too old to play himself at 23.
He breaks the traditional rules in film by mixing a confessional
documentary with physical and situational comedy. He can do a good
job of looking like a monkey in a penis playground (a playground
for the penis, not one made of penises). A significant portion of
the film has Caveh addressing the audience in a possibly helpful
aside instead of sticking to character. But he tries his best to
stick to the true reality that the film is based off of by supplying
us with pictures of the women he “loved” and stock footage
he has of his own life (How creepy is that?). These aspects of the
film make it original and account for the only star this movie gets.
Once the first third is over, the fun stops and the revulsion begins.
Caveh makes the same mistakes over and over again, revealing more
and more of his psyche and making his character (himself) less and
less sympathetic. But there’s plenty of revulsion to go around.
I found myself disgusted with the failure of the psychoanalytic/psychological
community to take a man like Caveh and make him realize that he
was having trouble with these women because his love for them couldn’t
compare with his love for himself. The film continues with blowjob
montage after blowjob montage as Caveh reveals his sordid history
with prostitutes. Again, and again, and again. I don’t need
to watch a man be a dick to girlfriend after girlfriend after girlfriend.
I got the idea pretty quickly, but Caveh didn’t. He tells
the whole story.
And then comes the worst part. He wraps up his story by saying
he’s been with his latest girlfriend for seven years and then
walks away from the camera to marry her. That’s it. No epiphany.
No lesson learned. It seems like he’s saying, “Third
time’s the charm.” Why make a movie like this when you’re
going to end with an assumed cure? Where’s the discipline?
Where’s the commitment? Where’s the resolution of the
conflict between the id and the superego that gave rise to this
unending need to be sucked off by hooker after hooker after hooker?
I’m deeply touched by Caveh Zahedi’s ability to bare
his soul to us. But I’m afraid he didn’t really have
much to say. I Am A Sex Addict was a movie made for Caveh,
not the viewer—unless said viewer likes to be emotionally
masturbated upon by a director too dense to understand the nature
of his own problem.