Watching “Addicted” is like eating Cheese Whiz straight from the jar. There’s no nutritional value. It’s kind of embarrassing. But it does satisfy a base craving for cheap, immediate sensation.
Adapted from the 1998 soft-core bestseller by Maryland novelist Kristina Laferne Roberts, who cranks out erotica for women under the pen name Zane, the film dispenses with the cracker — complex plot, three-dimensional characters and plausible dialogue — and goes straight for spoonfuls of the gooey goodness promised by its premise: one woman’s insatiable appetite for sex.
If you’ve ever wondered what Boris Kodjoe’s heinie looks like, “Addicted” delivers. Among its dozen or so sex scenes, tastefully filmed by former music-video prodigy Bille Woodruff, the actor’s bare buttocks are featured prominently, along with those of model Tyson Beckford and Cuban-born man-muffin William Levy, who play the lovers of protagonist Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal). As Zoe’s devoted husband, Kodjoe has the dubious distinction of dropping trou first. Only a few minutes into the film, he’s offering up his bouncing booty for the camera, ushering in the steady stream of beefcake that follows and defines the film.
Although Woodruff knows how to shoot the sexy stuff, he apparently hasn’t learned how to structure a whole movie around it. “Addicted” alternates, robotically, between boudoir sequences, scenes of Zoe’s deteriorating home and work life, and static shots of her talking with her increasingly alarmed therapist (Tasha Smith). The rhythm feels like a kid just learning how to do the hokeypokey: right foot, left foot, shake.
And who really cares?
No one is going to “Addicted” looking for subtlety or nuance. A line delivered by Levy’s artist character to Zoe — an art dealer who licenses the paintings of “world class” artists for reproduction on coffee mugs — sets the tone: “I want to paint you and put you over my bed, so when you’re not here I can satisfy myself with the mere thought of you.”
Never mind the fact that it’s a giant naked picture of Zoe — and not the “mere thought” of her — that he’s proposing to use as an aide in self-pleasure. The statement’s preposterousness lies not its directness, but in the fact that it actually works on a woman. It isn’t long before he and Zoe are doing the nasty.
Other dirty bits — which come along, reliably, every several minutes or so — include a scene where Zoe fires up a mechanical, er, friend after her husband is unable to satisfy her a third time.
I doubt that anyone who has read Zane’s books will be surprised by this. Anything less would be a disappointment. Like Cheese Whiz, the movie is not a meal, but who’s to say it doesn’t taste good? Zane’s first foray into the cineplex dishes out intense and momentary pleasure, and it’s not designed to be memorable.
R. At area theaters. Contains sex, nudity, drug use and some obscenity. 102 minutes.