My Fake Boyfriend (2022)
“It’s hard to find a guy who’s not going to lie, who just wants to be honest, who just wants to be in love. It should be simple, right?” This line by Rafi encapsulates the story of the film, and speaks directly to Andrew who should be that guy but has gotten into a lie he’s having a hard time escaping.
The concept here is a good one, and I like the building blocks of the story. A guy can’t seem to stop going back to a relationship, has friends who want to help, and tells or goes along with a simple lie that gets out of hand. My Fake Boyfriend just didn’t stick with it long enough to develop this into something more meaningful.
It had some funny moments. Jake and Kelly play off each other well, and the bathroom scene made me laugh out loud because I am a 13 year old boy. But that was a bit of the downfall of the movie – it had a lot of moments that stuck together, but seemed to not drive the story or characters. Many of the minutes felt like filler.
I pondered a bit about how believable it would be that so many people would believe a made up person. I mean, the fake boyfriend had contracts! But then I thought about what people will believe on social media these days, and I realized the concept was far more believable than it should be. Interesting commentary on how easily we believe so much of what we see online.
I wonder how the movie would have gone if instead of creating a whole fake character they would have just had a few photos and Insta posts to produce the lie. It would have still enabled the story and perhaps it could have focused on something more focused?
One thing that kind of popped out of nowhere (and we see a hint of this in the preview), was Jake’s connection to Christiano. I get that he spent a lot of time and energy creating him, and that a lot of who Christiano was included what Jake wished he could be. But, how did it get so deep? This could have been developed more, and I wonder how Andrew and Jake’s friendship could have been explored further.
The actors carried this film and kept me watching it, even when I wasn’t sure where exactly it was going. I saw familiar faces from other films (Lonsdale from Love Simon for example), and they made moments funny or touching. But they couldn’t be the ones that stitched the story together.
There were some oddly secondary characters like Leo – what was up with him? Comic relief maybe, but WTF? And Mr Jiang… he seemed so nice, but why did he reserve all his wisdom for the end when it could have been more useful before even if it fell on deaf ears. I liked his message of having to be open to love in order to find it.
I found the ending unsatisfying. One reason was that it didn’t seem that the characters (or the film) learned its lesson, as the whole last part is set up based on a lie. I was hoping more of a message of “stop freaking lying because it won’t help you.” The final scene of the film should have been about 2 minutes before the actual end – the “what happened to them” wasn’t necessary and distracted from the emotions the film should have left us with.