Queerly Ever After is a bi-monthly column where I take a look at LGBT+ films that gave their characters a romantic happily-ever-after. There will be spoilers.
Kept Boy follows Dennis Racine (Jon Paul Phillips), the younger boyfriend/sugar baby of wealthy interior designer/TV personality, Farleigh Knock (Thure Riefenstein). On the eve of his 30th birthday, Farleigh tells Dennis he needs to start pulling his weight around the house and get a job. Without a college degree, and not having had a job since he was 17 or 18 when he first met Farleigh, Dennis is at a loss.
Things become worse when Farleigh hires Jasper (Greg Audino) to be his new assistant. Jasper is a sexy Latino man a couple of years younger than Dennis, for whom this does not bode well. Dennis becomes convinced that Farleigh is looking to replace him with Jasper and determines to do all he can to keep his older boyfriend.
Lots of Butts, Not Much Else
The plot of Kept Boy is actually pretty convoluted and nonsensical. To be honest, I’m not even going to try and distill all the plot points in this article because it would be unnecessary. At the end of the day, this movie is a shallow attempt at best. It is marketed as a dark comedy, but the only darkly comedic aspect of it is how much it fails at being even remotely interesting.
The characters are all rather one-note, and so immature I wonder how any of them ever left puberty. And for some reason, there’s a huge plot twist towards the end of the movie that only serves to make the characters even more stupid. As the heading says, there are lots of shots of nice man-butt, but there’s not much else. At least the guys are inoffensively attractive.
Let’s get back to that plot twist I mentioned. On a trip to Colombia, Dennis comes to the conclusion that he will not be able to keep Farleigh’s interests, so he resolves to make him jealous by having sex with Jasper in a place where he knows Farleigh will see them. It is then that Jasper announces he was never interested in Farleigh, but has been pining after Dennis all along.
I feel like a lot of that confusion could have been cleared up if these two men ever had a real conversation. Maybe that’s too adult for them. Like clockwork, Farleigh sees Dennis and Jasper getting it on and walks off sadly. After their romp in the hay, Dennis goes to confront Farleigh who admits to him that when he hired Jasper he was certain Dennis would eventually leave him for the younger man. Wait, what?
Farleigh, buddy, I may only be in my 20s while you are in your 50s, but I think now is the time for me to impart you with some relationship advice. For starters, communication is king. Next, if you don’t want to lose your significant other there are a few simple steps you can take, like not treating them like dirt, not pushing them away, not leering at your cabana boy-turned interior design assistant (did I forget to mention Jasper was originally hired as the pool boy before being made Farleigh’s assistant? See, this plot is inane.)
Every single issue in this movie would have been solved if any of these men could have acted like adults and had a conversation. To be perfectly honest, I’m amazed that Dennis and Farleigh have been together for over a decade by the time the film starts.
Ok, back to the events of the film after Farleigh admits that he still loves Dennis and was afraid of losing him to Jasper. In a darkly comic turn of deus ex machina, Farleigh has a heart attack and dies. Ah, so that’s what makes this movie a dark comedy. Right? Love triangle cosmically averted, Dennis and Jasper are now free to be together. The end.
Kept Boy: In Conclusion
If you’ve been reading this column since its inception, you’d know I love a good bad movie (see: Capital Games), and I’m also pretty nice to movies that aren’t good but I think have their heart in the right place (see: Happy Endings Sleepover), Kept Boy is neither so bad it’s good, nor is it endearing. It’s just a dull movie populated by unlikable characters.
Kept Boy came out in the US on February 4, 2017. For all other release dates, see here.
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