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I AM A SEX ADDICT (NR) (2005)

IFC Films

Official Site

Director: Caveh Zahedi

Producers: Greg Watkins, Caveh Zahedi, Thomas Logoreci

Written by: Caveh Zahedi

Cast: Caveh Zahedi, Rebecca Lord, Emily Morse, Amanda Henderson

Rating:


Pay attention. You’re about to catch me on a rare judgmental streak.

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.

—Duncan Wright

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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