Connection is the key to dealing with addiction and everything that No More Secrets has done in the past twenty years has been pointed to that mindset.

Way back in October of 2003 one of our groups came up with the idea of having a movie night. That group was made up of several men under thirty who urged me to think about it. That month we had our first movie night on a 19” TV and a Blockbuster DVD.

I wanted to show a movie that had some relatable message for sex and love addicts. I also wanted to find a movie that most of the men would not have seen. I realized that if I told people beforehand, they might not show up thinking that the movie didn’t sound good so I decided to keep it to myself until I was ready to play it. The event also came with a potluck, real food just not popcorn.

The first movie I showed was a 1971 cult classic that not only no one had seen but no one had even heard of. It was big in NY. The movie was “Little Murders.” A dark comedy with no real star at the time. It went on to help catapult Donald Sutherland, Vincent Gardenia, Alan Arkin and Elliot Gould to stardom. The movie was written by Jules Feiffer who won a Pulitzer in 1986 as a cartoonist.

There is a classic sex and love addict line in the movie when Elliot Gould’s love interest say to her parents about him over their concern: “I am going to love the man I’m going to turn him into to!”

No More Secrets (NMS) went on to settle on five movie nights a year. Every year at the end of February, April, June, August and October we have had a movie night. We average between 25-35 men per night. It is a place where Alumni and current members can break bread, laugh and visit. This past Tuesday April 29th was our 83rd Movie night and I was not going to let Covid-19 end the streak, so it was time to get creative.

With the help of tech savvy Scott E, we [he] came up with a plan. We started with a zoom meeting from 6:30 until 7:15, followed by a Netflix Party app connecting us to the movie, followed by another 45 minute zoom meeting to process what we had just watched. It was wonderful and thanks to modern technology we were able to come together as a community of course minus the potluck. And yes I did miss Jason M’s cooked beef dish for sure. But, all in all it was great. And just as with the first one back in October 2003, no one had ever heard nor seen this movie to my delight. This movie night during the time of Corona we drew 28 men. The movie was named Dean.

Dean is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Demetri Martin and produced by Honora Productions. The film stars Martin, Gillian Jacobs and Kevin Kline. Martin plays the title character, Dean, who is a published cartoon artist who draws in a simple style with felt pen and Bristol board. The movie is loosely based in part on Martin’s own experience losing his father at age 20 to kidney cancer.

What made me choose it was simple: father and adult son issues, grief and loss of a parent, loss of a relationship, inability of establishing a clear career path, difficulty have hard direct conversations and extreme uneasiness in social settings, not to mention having no real healthy men friends. For us it was a huge success and a slam dunk!

Struggling to know what to binge watch since your land locked and waiting for social distancing to disappear? Here you go! Have at it. And as I always ask my men before the movie start “why did I pick it”. Take a look at the list of 83 movies,  I have chosen over the years.

Making the best of a bad situation is the challenge of the day for us all.

If your struggling with making good choices, you might want to take a look behind the curtain. As I always say: misery is optional. Call me.

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