I think I first saw this movie on Netflix and I avoided, probably because I was being bougie. Like, I think the reason POC struggle to support our independent media is the quality of said media. I mean, in the age of blu-ray and hi-def and 3D, it's haaaaard to sit through a project that was obviously made on a budget of zero.
So I ignored it on Netflix, and then I saw it on Hulu where I ignored it again. But then I was reading about my one of my favorite actresses, Kat Graham, and learned she was in this film. So I read up on it and figured I might as well take a gander.
This trailer is somewhat misleading, as is the poster above it.
Addicted is not about a woman simply having an affair with another man; it's about a woman battling sex addiction and sleeping with multiple men. Everywhere. In an artist's studio, on the hood of a car, in a swinger's/fetish club, in a corner of a regular club - everywhere. Even her fantasies take 3D form, causing her practically have sex with herself on her desk at work.
That all said, I don't think this film deserved an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; if anything, I think a lot of its critical woes stem from discrimination against POC in the film industry.
Was the quality top notch? No, but this is an indie film; it was made on a budget of $5 million which, in Hollywood, is basically a chump change budget of prayers and favors. Even so, it raked in $17.5 million at the box office (yes, it made it to the box office). So one could argue it made back three times what was spent. In this instance, I'd call that a win.
Was the story particularly stellar? Not really, but then again, the screenplay's based on a novel by Zane, not a play by Zora Neale Hurston, sooooo...we can't expect too much in that department. Also, people keep forgetting that the more layers to a film - additional actors, special effects, action sequences - the higher the budget. Ergo, it makes sense that if the money (and the schedule) is tight, you want to go with a simpler storyline.
All things considered, we do get to see a Blasian actress (that would be Leal) in a lead role. She's a successful career woman, a wife to a good-looking husband, and a mother of two. We get to see her family in all of its middle class glory. We also see she has a caring mother who helps with her kids, and Emayatzy Corinealdi (Akira's Hip Hop Shop, Middle of Nowhere) as her assistant at work.
When Zoe (again Leal) realizes that her affair with Quinton (Levy), and her subsequent trysts with Corey (Tyson Beckford) really is going to destroy her personal and professional life, she starts seeing Dr. Spencer (Tasha Smith in a questionable wig). All right, all right...so we get yet another professional sistah in the film. I'm down with that. I'm also down with the format of the film; Zoe's therapy sessions act as a narrative framing device. The whole reason she goes to see Dr. Spencer at the beginning of the film is to begin her sordid tale of sex addiction.
Was the portrayal of sex addiction accurate? Well, no...but then again, Zane is not a psychologist. And the media industry - unfortunately - likes to glamorize addiction, much like it glamorizes rape. In fact, I think erotic authors ought to stay away from sex addition (and rape) altogether. Neither is sexy, healthy, or scintillating. One is a disorder and the other is a violation. Had I been the one adapting this for the screen, I would've simply focused on promiscuity and infidelity.
I laughed out loud when I saw that ish.
It's a shame Diamond's screen time was so minimal; I would've liked it if we explored who she was a bit more. Kat Graham looked very cute in this room, and it's not often we get to see outside of her Bonnie Bennett role, and Diamond struck me as a fun, sexy, provocative role for someone who's been repeatedly barred from having her own love scenes on TVD.
Back to the movie overall. Was the soundtrack decent? Yes, actually! Nice, simplistic score; the actual songs were well chosen (except for the one playing during the end credits...seemed out of place). Combined with well-chosen directorial cuts, the soundtrack added that last bit of polish to the film.
Final verdict? I'm torn. Part of me wants to give it 3 out of 5 stars, considering the obstacles it had to overcome. But another part is thinking 2.5 because the acting sometimes? Meh.