Thoroughly enjoyed Ira Sachs' "Keep the Lights On," his cinematic autopsy of his doomed 10-year relationship with literary agent Bill Clegg, whose descent into drug addiction nearly killed him. Much like Clegg's memoir of this period of his life, "Diary of an Addict as a Young Man," Sachs' film does not point fingers or assign blame, opting instead to accept that addiction is real and horrible things happen to addicts and the people who love them -- especially when they love them longer than perhaps they should. The film does a nice job of shifting between the couple's happiest and bleakest times, providing what feels like a realistic portrait of what it's to be a lovesick codependent, always hoping that things will get better when deep down you know they won't.
Because I'm a writer living in New York, know people who have been to dinner parties at the couple's former apartment at One Fifth Avenue, know a literary agent who inherited a client or two as a result of Clegg's going off the rails, and (like many) have a bit of a Clegg fixation, I really had to ask myself if my view of the film was clouded by all of this. I honestly don't think it was. Reviews have been quite positive, and Michael -- who has no connection to any of this -- seemed to enjoy it every bit as much as I did, even if he wasn't able to join my (tongue-in-cheek) eye-rolling at the actor cast as the "Sachs" character being WAY better looking than the actual filmmaker and the (cute) actor cast as the "Clegg" character somehow not being as cute as the real deal!
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