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Movie Review

Sex addict’s story covers the ecstasy and the agony

“Addicted” stars Sharon Leal and William Levy as an insatiable woman and her lover.
“Addicted” stars Sharon Leal and William Levy as an insatiable woman and her lover.(Lionsgate)

Like many movies of this type — like Hollywood movies in general — Bille Woodruff’s adaptation of Zane’s novel “Addicted” lets an audience vicariously enjoy bad behavior before restoring the viewer’s righteousness by punishing the deviant on screen. Or, in this case, curing her. And since the addiction in question is not something unsightly like heroin or alcohol but rather a habit that lends itself to montages of gorgeous, naked bodies writhing in ecstasy (only brief glimpses of naughty bits — this is a shade softer core than “Emmanuelle”), Woodruff allows a good long look before getting preachy.

But first, a glimpse at the cure. Zoe (Sharon Leal, like the rest of the cast, far better than the material) is on the couch asking her therapist why — despite having a great career and a beautiful house, children, and spouse — she feels that something is missing?

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A flashback might offer a clue. After she and her husband, Jason (Boris Kodjoe), engage in a montage of ecstatic sex (they do it three times a day, she tells her shrink) and he falls asleep, she slips away to watch online porn while wielding a large, unmentionable object.

She’s an addict, but a functioning one. Except for her online excursions, she has never strayed. Until Quinton (William Levy, who looks like a combination of Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas, except prettier) enters her life. At first it’s strictly professional: Her business is putting art on coffee cups, and since Quinton is the hottest artist around, she asks him to be her client. (I would suggest that this is a form of prostitution, but Quinton’s kitschy art does belong on coffee cups.) Quinton, however, like all the men in this movie — I mean, how can a woman resist? — looks like a demigod. With serious problems of his own, it turns out, but I digress.

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Things bottom out when Zoe not only hooks up with another lover (there is not an ounce of body fat in this movie), but also misses her son’s soccer game. And up until then we were all having a good time. Time to break out the 12-step program. Or maybe what Zoe had really been missing in her cookie cutter life was freedom and fun?

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Peter Keough can be reached at petervkeough@gmail.com.