Keep the Lights On (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Keep the Lights On is a mysterious, sexy journey deep into the love affair of two men that always manages to stay true to life.

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Movie Info

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. -- (C) Official Site
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama , Gay & Lesbian
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Sarah Hess
as Katie
Roberta Kirshbaum
as Katie's Mom
Jamie Petrone
as Katie's Cousin
Maria Dizzia
as Vivian
James Bidgood
as Himself
Henry Arango
as Himself
Agosto Machado
as Himself
Ed Vassallo
as Thomas
Chris Lenk
as Hustler
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Critic Reviews for Keep the Lights On

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (30)

This is a painful drama, but its pain is more studied than emotive, and it demands that we think just as much as it makes us feel.

Full Review… | October 29, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

The cast, uniformly excellent, draws us into a vibrant, energetic Manhattan where commitments are forged and broken through sheer chance and those seeking permanence must continually resist temptation and ennui.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A complex and mysterious tale of a love affair, one that lacks the tidy story arc of a movie but feels real.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

When you summon memories of this film, they are almost always of two men in a room, in a default state of discontent.

Full Review… | October 24, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A heart-breaking love story and call for emotional transparency in relationships.

Full Review… | October 11, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict.

Full Review… | October 11, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Keep the Lights On

The kind of gay-themed drama that is becoming increasingly rare nowadays: one that is brutally honest and devastating like real love can be when ruined by drug addiction and by one person's dependence on another - which, if at first enraging, earns its place as the true core of the story.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Mind numbingly dull.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

In "Keep the Lights On," Karen(Paprika Steen) gives her brother Erik(Thure Lindhardt), a documentary filmmakerin his 30's, grief over not being able to put his life together. That's even with her not knowing about his phone sex habit which is how he hooks up with Paul(Zachary Booth) who mentions something about a girlfriend after they have sex. That does not stop them from forming a relationship that goes beyond the physical, however. Meantime, Erik's friend Claire(Julianne Nicholson) wants to have his baby while he sweats out an HIV test. "Keep the Lights On" is a quietly intense and incisive look at a turbulent relationship. As erotic as the movie is, there is one sex scene that has to be one of the most emotionally unnerving I have ever seen. That having been said, the movie has less to do with sex than with addiction and those it affects. Ironically, Erik is an anchor for Paul, otherwise clean cut with a good job compared to Erik who has never been big on responsibility. Throughout, Erik gets glimpses of other potential realities, one of which would be a huge mistake to say the least. Along these same lines, the movie's central weakness is telling it entirely from Erik's point of view which, while building suspense concerning Paul's whereabouts, limits the story in not properly giving Paul adequate definition.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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