In Manhattan, filmmaker Erik bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself.
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It's 1997 and New York City is in a state of intense flux when documentary filmmaker Erik Rothman (Thure Lindhardt) first meets Paul Lucy (Zachary Booth), a handsome but closeted lawyer in the publishing field. What begins as a highly charged first encounter soon becomes something much more, and a relationship quickly develops. As the two men start building a home and life together, each continues to privately battle their own compulsions and addictions. A film about sex, friendship, intimacy and most of all, love, Keep the Lights On takes an honest look at the nature of relationships in our times. Written by
As a gay man, I like to support films with gay characters and stories when I can. Oftentimes such films sacrifice writing and acting in order to titillate. This film avoided that pitfall and delivered a cohesive, relevant and tasteful product. The characters were gritty and weren't cardboard cut outs. Personally, I found it a lot more relevant than a recent art film I caught called THE MASTER. The central relationship in this film is between gay men but the film manages to touch on failing/toxic relationships in general and offers up some noteworthy and humorous ensemble performances. As difficult as it is to believe, these relationships exist in gay and straight life. It seems to me that the filmmaker decided it was important to hold up a mirror and show us reality and a real relationship gone awry instead of showing us that gays can have just as little sex and/or just as loving relationships as straight folk. We have enough sanitized and safe portrayals of gays on network TV. I found the performances to be interesting and the characters were dynamic. Each had a journey unlike the static characters in the aforementioned, lauded art film. Since this film was most certainly shot quickly and with a limited budget, I take my hat off to cast and crew. The selfishness, desperation, preoccupation, co-dependency and obsessive behavior depicted seemed right on point. I felt that the filmmakers unflinchingly and without apology depicted the good, the bad and the ugly of this relationship while tell a story about two individuals in love.
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