Directed by Rose Troche, My Fake Boyfriend is an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy, starring Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, and Sarah Hyland. The movie – which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video – follows the story of a stunt performer who finds himself in a tricky situation, when he enters into a fake relationship with a non-existent social media influencer.
In the movie, Andrew is in an on-off relationship with his actor boyfriend, Nico. The pair have been dating for a while and Andrew is happy.
But despite an agreement to be exclusive, Andrew discovers Nico is ‘sexting’ other men. Understandably, Andrew is upset about this situation, and Nico’s infidelity drives the couple apart.
But after the pair split up, Andrew finds himself struggling to move forward – something which isn’t helped by Nico suggesting they continue to hook up. Although he knows he shouldn’t, Andrew can’t seem to move on and is tempted to keep seeing his ex.
This prompts Andrew’s best friend, Jake, to step in. Jake wants Andrew to remain Nico-free, so sets in motion a plan to drive his toxic ex away.
Using A.I. technology, Jake creates a virtual boyfriend for Andrew, to give Nico the impression that Andrew has met the love of his life. Jake then makes this new boyfriend incredibly popular online, turning him into a social media influencer in the process, and soon Nico gets the message.
However, things quickly backfire when Andrew finds his virtual boyfriend attracts more attention than he would like. This proves especially problematic when Andrew finds himself interested in a new guy, but has the pesky issue of already having a boyfriend.
The problem could be solved by simply erasing this fake boyfriend, but unfortunately, Jake is keen to keep the faux-beau ‘alive’. Can Andrew find love with someone new or will his pretend love life ultimately get in the way?
On paper, the premise to My Fake Boyfriend seems like a good one. The idea of using social media to fake a relationship feels very plausible, and with some snappy dialogue and a few well-placed gags, the film sounds like it could be a lot of fun.
But unfortunately, My Fake Boyfriend sounds more interesting than it actually is. There is no snappy dialogue in this film, the gags are limited, and with the exception of the virtual boyfriend plot line offering some mild interest here and there, there’s not a great deal going on in this film.
To be fair, My Fake Boyfriend isn’t bad, it’s just not particularly interesting. The movie tries, and it does have a couple of bright spots, but it never comes together in the way that it should.
The key issue is the script, which is ‘serviceable’, but that’s about it. The script has all the right components to get the characters from A to B, but it never pushes beyond the basics and this is a real shame.
There are a few jokes dotted around, to add a little dash of humour, but oddly the funniest lines are delivered by the background characters (a gym manager, a waiter, etc), rather than by the lead stars. So there is some fun and laughs to be had, but it’s all few and far between, and the best lines never come from the key players.
This is a frustrating, because there is a general sense the core cast are trying their best to elevate the story. Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, and Sarah Hyland are all likeable in their respective roles, but they can only do so much with what they are given.
Sprouse in particular is good, playing the role of Andrew’s best friend, Jake. However, there is always the sense that with stronger lines he could have been even better, and this feels like a missed opportunity.
It’s worth saying the romance doesn’t shine all that well either. Once again, it’s adequate stuff, but nothing beyond this, and there is no real sparkle.
Ultimately, My Fake Boyfriend is watchable, but it is also largely forgettable. It is a film that will pass the time, but don’t expect anything else.
Should you bother with it? I guess that largely depends on whether you want to be ‘wowed’ or not.
My Fake Boyfriend is easy viewing, but that is all. If you watch it once, that’s fine, but I doubt you’ll watch it again.