Despite its title, I Am a Sex Addict is not exactly a documentary either, but it's close. It's unapologetically a movie by Zahedi about Zahedi. At age 45, Zahedi is a neurotic on par with Woody Allen and Spalding Gray. Clearly obsessed with himself, Zahedi is a classic hedonist, a child of the '60s that wants nothing more from life than everything he can possibly grab. And yet he feels a bit guilty about it, particularly when we learn that what really gets him going is prostitutes, a subject with which he's quickly become obsessed.
Zahedi's film is uniquely structured: Half monologue to the camera and half re-enacted docudrama. Then there's a little "making of" footage spliced right in, some of which is further narrated with additional monologues. Confused? You won't be. Despite its roundabout, backtracking, and erratic structure, I Am a Sex Addict is never hard to follow. I guess it helps when your subject matter is strictly limited to yourself.
For someone with such a serious and embarassing obsession, Zahedi is remarkably candid, appearing often topless (and naked in the outtakes on DVD), despite his decidedly non-Brad-Pitt body and googly eyes. Zahedi doesn't seem self-conscious at all, almost proudly outlining the various steps he took to overcome his prostitute addiction, be it going cold turkey or indulging his every desire in an attempt to "get bored" with the ladies. (It isn't until he goes through years of therapy that he "gets better.")
The good news is not just that the material is compelling, but it's generally quite funny too, and Zahedi doesn't have to try hard to make amusing his stories of groping message parlor receptionists or casting porn star Rebecca Lord as one of his girlfriends (a typically meta sequence within a sequence in the movie). Shot on digital video, the film actually looks pretty good, much better than most no-budget productions like this. While Zahedi's schtick gets a little repetitious in the second hour, it's overall a fun and unique movie that isn't soon forgotten.
The DVD adds three extended behind-the-scenes sequences from the shooting of the film, the most fun of which are his arguments with a female co-star over getting her to take off her clothes for the camera.
They're all 50 bucks.
Run time: 98 mins
In Theaters: Friday 14th October 2005
Distributed by: IFC First Take
Production compaines: Reinventing the Wheel
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 12
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Caveh Zahedi
Producer: Thomas Logoreci, Greg Watkins, Caveh Zahedi
Screenwriter: Caveh Zahedi
Starring: Caveh Zahedi as Himself, Rebecca Lord as Caroline, Emily Morse as Christa, Amanda Henderson as Devin
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