At first, Zahedi comes off a little creepy (perhaps due to his uncanny resemblance to Jesus Quintana from THE BIG LEBWOSKI), but his sense of humor regarding his past actions quickly draws you into the film in spite of the subject matter. I was pleased to see that I AM A SEX ADDICT was not a dark, sleazy look at the underground world of prostitution, but instead focuses more on the man’s personal relationships in the face of his addiction. The movie is actually quite funny due to Zahedi’s no-holds-barred honesty regarding his story (and what has to be the funniest “O” face since OFFICE SPACE), and the talk-to-the-camera style worked surprisingly well. In fact, with the “pretentious” meta-filmmaking and the very neurotic protagonist, it almost feels like an early Woody Allen movie.
Even with the humor and the style, the movie gets a little stale and repetitive by the midway point, when thing's are repeated with Caveh's second girlfriend. It could probably lose a good 10-20 minutes and you wouldn’t miss too much of its message. It does pick up towards the end and what you take away from the film is a look at addiction in general, not just of a sexual nature. With a Yale degree in philosophy, Zahedi actually raises some good insight in to the nature and psychology behind dependence. Regardless if it’s sex, drugs or [gulp] movies, that urgent need for something constantly—even when you know you shouldn’t or even when you don’t really want to—is something universal to just about everyone. Thus, the film feels like the culmination of the man’s recovery; by opening up and sharing his very personal story with a willing audience he can finally let it go. (I won’t spoil the ending, but it actually ends the film on a rather touching high-note.)
Ultimately, I AM A SEX ADDICT is still a film for a very specific audience and if you think you fit that bill then give it a try.
Extra Tidbit: Rebecca Lord, who plays Zahedi’s first wife Caroline, is actually a famous French porn star whose body of work includes LAURA CROTCH: TOMB RAIDER and A CLOCKWORK ORGY.