Release Date: April 12th, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC Films.
The Cast: Caveh Zahedi, Rebecca Lord, Emily Morse, Amanda Henderson, Greg Watkins.
Directed by Caveh Zahedi.
BASIC PREMISE: Caveh (Zahedi), a recovered sex addict, recalls his past relationships with women.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: As an autobiographical film mixed with documentary footage and fictional dramatizations, I am a Sex Addict has one refreshing surprise after another. Just like Woody Allen, writer/director Caveh Zahedi plays himself, even naming his character Caveh. He hooks you in by speaking directly into the camera right before he’s about to marry his third wife. Will he overcome his addiction and find true love after all? The answer is obvious from the opening scene, but the really interesting question is how does he overcome the addiction? Like Allen, he enjoys poking fun at his neurotic, whinny self. Flashing back to the early eights, Zahedi recalls Caroline (Lord), his first wife, who couldn’t stand him yielding to his sexual desires by having sex with Parisian prostitutes. He feels the need to openly discuss his perverted, sexual urges for other, which makes him seem rather obnoxious and rude—at least he’s honest. Just as expected, there’s plenty of strong sexual content and simulated sex scenes, some of which go on and on into redundancy. Among all of the creepy sex scenes that show the escalating chaos of his addiction, there’s some inventive humor when stops the narrative progression to speak directly into the camera again--trying to remind you that you’re not watching a documentary. If it’s not a documentary, then what is it? It does have a narrative structure with Caveh having a serious flaw and, gradually, overcoming it through a 12-step program. But, it also has footage of Caveh’s real wives who wouldn’t re-enact themselves in the film. Regardless what genre this falls into, as a writer/director, Zahedi manages to realistically portray a memorable character that you truly end up caring about even by the predictable ending.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Sex addiction is just as real and dangerous as drug and alcohol addiction. Fortunately, there’s a way out of any addiction, but the obvious yet difficult first step is acknowledgement. Writer/director Caveh Zahedi comes to terms with his sex addiction through this film, both directly and indirectly. The way he re-enacts versions from his past shows, to some degree, his maturity into a true grown-up who’s unafraid to reflect on serious mistakes he made throughout his life. By the time he gets married for the third time, you share his joy.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally redundant and irritating.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Wild, funny and inventive! You’ll get hooked on this film from the start!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "I" Menu