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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
Profoundly disappointing, but Thure Lindhardt shines
You know what? I'm not interested in people who destroy their lives with drugs. And I'm not interested in people who destroy their lives by attaching themselves like leeches to people who are destroying their lives with drugs. That's not tragic; that's not romantic; that's stupid.
In every case - the enabler-leeches just as much as the addicts - that kind of behavior is self-indulgent, narcissistic, and completely avoidable. I don't feel sorry for them any more than I feel sorry for billionaires who whine about having to pay taxes or for 21st-century hunter-gatherers who whine if we try take away their constitutionally-mandated 1000-round-per-second assault rifles.
That's what this profoundly disappointing movie is about: whining idiots whose lives are totally devoted to stupid, avoidable, totally unnecessary, self-indulgent, destructive behavior. This movie is not about love. It's not about what it means to be a gay man. It's about stupidity.
The problem is that it proclaims to the world that we gay men are self-centered, self-indulgent, drug-crazed idiots and the self-centered, self-indulgent idiot men who "love" them. Bullsh!t. There is no love ANYWHERE in this lying, infuriating movie. The gay men who gush about how REAL this movie is must be like the ones portrayed in it. Thank God I don't know any of them.
For the information of straight readers: gay men like the ones in this movie are a tiny, TINY, insignificant, completely negligible minority who do not in any way represent the community as a whole. The percentage of gay crack addicts is no greater than the percentage of straight crack addicts, and ALL of them are just as boring as the two in this movie are. Most gay men are just like straight men, except a little smarter and with better taste in sex partners.
The four stars are for Thure Lindhardt, a beautiful man in every way, who plays gay characters better than any gay actor I can think of. I first saw him in the Danish movie Broderskab (Brotherhood), in which his excellent, subtle performance was overshadowed by electrifying Swedish actor David Dencik in the most powerful portrayal of a gay man I've ever seen.
Lindhardt doesn't have such intense acting competition in this movie, so he shines more brightly. Although his character is a boring, infuriating fool, his performance is fantastic. Lindhardt is always worth watching, and - for me - he's the only reason this movie is.
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