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Crack addition rivals love in Danish drama

‘Keep the Lights On'

• Not rated, but R in nature, including sex and drug use

• 4 stars

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By Colin Colvert
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
 

We meet Erik (Thure Lindhardt), a young Danish documentarian living in millennial New York City, as he works the phone, trying to arrange an anonymous gay hookup. He meets, and falls hard for, Paul (Zachary Booth), a publishing junior executive who claims to have a girlfriend and tells Erik not to get his hopes up. Their intense sexual bond leads to dating and something like romance.

Paul's girlfriend drops out of the picture and the men become a comfortably affluent, sophisticated couple for a decade. Their relationship is still a love triangle, however, with Paul's clandestine addiction to crack rivaling his bond to self-doubting Erik. As their home life becomes a chain of unanswered calls home and unexplained absences, both men must decide whether their relationship is worth fighting for.

This intimate semi-autobiographical drama from director Ira Sachs (“Forty Shades of Blue”) is commendably frank about the challenges facing his characters. 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.

In English and subtitled Danish.

Colin Colvert is a staff writer at the Star Tribune (Minneapolis).

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