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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 others have pointed out here, there are good performances, and the Dogma-style cinematography gives us the feeling that we're seeing some serious fare. The story is not necessarily UNbelievable, but the motivation of the characters seems missing, and ultimately, that's what sinks the movie.
By missing motivation, I mean the love story itself. I saw the effects of the love story, but I felt like I never saw the actual love.
I saw nothing in Paul that would have really and truly held the interest of someone like Erik. I mean, really--are there any worldly gay men around who would not cut loose a crackhead attorney post haste? It's one thing for an artist like Rufus Wainwright to admit he was mainly attracted to straight heroin addicts. That's so f**ked up, it almost makes sense. But a European filmmaker obsessed with a white bread American lawyer?? Sorry. Not buying it.
That being said, there were some compelling scenes throughout. E.g., I was impressed with the hotel room scene, which felt real. And I'll admit, the movie held my interest enough that I wanted to see how it turned out. But the flaccid ending seemed consistent with everything preceding, making me feel a bit of a sucker.
Like I said. Better than average, but not by much.
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