I Am a Sex Addict

357x480One certainly can’t fault Caveh Zahedi for candor. Standing stock still with his arms plastered at his sides, as if his whole body were mimicking his priapism, Zahedi tells us all about the various misfortunes arising from his indulgence of his “prostitute fetish.” His movie I Am a Sex Addict focuses on this and nothing else, and after a while it grows monotonous.

Zahedi talks about various women he’s gotten serious with, who for one reason or another were driven away by his compulsion to get blowjobs from prostitutes. Even when he finds himself a laid-back, free-spirited woman who doesn’t mind his fetish, after a while she finds it monotonous. Over and over again, we see Zahedi propositioning prostitutes in different countries (and in different languages) with the same words — “How much? Will you suck me?” — and sometimes he makes the rounds and mistakenly asks the same prostitutes twice, and after a while they find it monotonous. Zahedi can’t stop seeking out prostitutes, and after a while he finds it … yeah. You get it.

I got it too, after about thirty minutes. Which was possibly the ideal length for I Am a Sex Addict (it goes on for 99). Occasionally amusing, and capably performed by the actresses playing Zahedi’s ill-starred lovers (particularly Amanda Henderson — who’s like Jewel Staite’s dissipated older sister — as the aforementioned free spirit Devin), the movie nonetheless can’t sustain the thin interest of a man’s obsession with outlaw fellatio. It’s clear that Zahedi’s problem stems from issues with self-esteem and intimacy, though he grew up in time to be influenced by the I’m-OK-You’re-OK psychobabble of the ’70s. He wants to be honest at all costs, and he is. It never occurs to him to lie to his girlfriends, but it also never occurs to him that his “sensitivity” is just another form of insensitivity.

I Am a Sex Addict is interestingly assembled out of home-movie footage and re-enactments; Zahedi often pauses to tell us anecdotes about the actresses playing his girlfriends — he doesn’t even wait for the DVD to furnish an audio commentary. He has a compelling camera face, with deep-set eyes yearning for you, for everyone, to understand him. And he’s certainly not interested in making himself look cool for the camera; his orgasmic shrieks and cartoonish “oh” faces provide some low laughs, but after a while they get — you know.

I suppose the trap of the material is Zahedi’s absolute dedication to sharing every nook and cranny of his obsession; by definition, obsessive fantasies are like infinite loops, spinning their weaver round and round until he or she either seeks help or is consumed. After all that, Zahedi blows off his latest and most successful relationship — seven years together, then marriage — in about five minutes of screen time, which is about half as long as he spends on a sequence in a Munich brothel. I wish him and his bride the best — especially her, because she may need it.

Explore posts in the same categories: comedy, documentary

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