A Critique by Susan Peabody
This is an excellent documentary about love addiction, and I should know. I am not only an expert in the field, I am a love addict in recovery. I am everywhere in the movie.
I appreciate that the movie was about a variety of love addicts. The producer covers all the bases. The most endearing was Tracy, the typical fatal attraction erotomaniac. She really believes that the object of her desire loves her when he does not. She carries a torch and when the rejection finally gets through to her she gets angry and escalates into stalking. The scene where she listens to the rejection tape over over again illustrates the later stages of the disease which is re-living the pain over and over again, like a poor animal licking his wounds. This is the loop that love addicts get caught up and points out the relationship between love addiction and the brain. Tracy might also have obsessive compulsive disorder.
The movie also shows some little-explored themes like the relationship between poor body image and love addiction. Love addicts are often over-weight. At the same time, the movie points out that attractiveness is not the only issue by telling the story of a slim love addict chasing after her ex. This woman's pain was visceral. I could feel her pain. This is the common thread between all the stories: low self-esteem.
Another painful story for me was the denial of the young man as he talks to the woman who says nothing. He takes this little acorn and pictures it at as a full grown tree. I felt so badly for him, but this is typical of love addicts. They filter everything through their needs. They see only what they want to see. You might say, like drug addicts, they are in an altered state. Still, he handled the rejection well which brings me to another point. The movie shows love addicts as only partially in recovery. They all are able to articulate what is wrong with them, but they can't change. The first Tracy was the only exception to this. More about her recovery would have been nice. But getting stuck at this stage of the addiction is a major problem and why I wrote my second book, The Art of Changing.
In summary, this movie has it all. We learn a lot about love addiction with snippets about self-articulated recovery. I can't wait for the sequel. I want to see all these exceptional people in treatment and make even more recovery. I hope they understand, however, is that the happy ending is not a story-book relationship, but a profound love for yourself whether you or single or not.
Susan Peabody is a writer and is featured on the Love Addict movie website. Susan has published 4 books: Addiction to Love, The Art of Changing, Recovery Workbook for Love Addicts and Love Avoidants, and Where Love Abides. (This final book is Susan's memoirs and the workbook introduces and discusses Susan's new term, "The Ambivalent Love Addict.") For more about Susan and her other writings, see her website http://www.brightertomorrow.net/ Art of Changing