Kept Boy (2017)

GEORGE BAMBER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): B

USA, 2017. . Screenplay by , based on the novel by . Cinematography by . Produced by , , . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by Ben Simons.

Robert Rodi’s delightful novel about a young man trying to save his relationship with his sugar daddy, taking him on an adventure to Greece and ending up on a journey of his own self worth, is turned into a dour and miserable romantic melodrama whose appealing cast struggles to make something cohesive out of a drab screenplay (and the trip is now an isolated resort, with far fewer characters, in Colombia). Dennis has lived with television producer Farleigh since he was 17, kept in a luxurious lifestyle as more or a less a human pet and accompanied in his free time by two good friends who are in similar relationships with older, rich individuals. Farleigh starts dropping hints Dennis should hit the gym more often, then tells him to get a job and start pulling his weight around the place, which makes our young hero worry that he is being ousted out of his comfortable position in favour of the hot young pool boy, Jasper, that Farleigh has invited to co-host his design show. Desperate to prove to Farleigh that he already has the best young thing he could ever hope for, Dennis takes them on a trip down south to rejuvenate their romance but ends up with a far more complicated experience.  is a perfectly scrumptious specimen for the lead role but doesn’t have the right level of anxious insecurity to convince us that we’re watching an incisive comedy about unorthodox relationships, he’s far too laid back and calm to really create the tension required.  , as Farleigh, never comes across as affectionate or appealing and as a result it’s hard to understand why Dennis expresses fear not only of losing his livelihood but his heart as well (the ambivalence of which the director never decides on).

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