THE PERFECT SON directed and written by Leonard Farlinger, produced by Jennifer Jonas, with Colm Feore, David Cubitt and Chandra West. 92 minutes. A New Real Films production. An Equinox release. Opens Friday (February 2). For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 65. Rating: N leonard farlinger's directorial debut is supposedly autobiographical, which only proves that life occasionally imitates a mediocre Canadian TV movie.Two brothers, long estranged, are reunited at their father's funeral. The one who's been away, David Cubitt (Traders), has been wrestling with substance abuse problems. He discovers, in rapid order, that his brother (Colm Feore, from 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould) is gay, HIV-positive and dying.
The picture is cleanly directed and the actors are more than competent, but almost nothing of actual interest ever happens. It's connect-the-dots scripting, and one can see every plot development coming long before it actually arrives. When one of your characters has a terminal disease, this isn't exactly surprising.
It's that odd Canadian specialty, the cinema of therapy, where people don't get stuck together so that they can do something, but instead are trapped in a situation so they can work out their problems and reconcile themselves to their differences.
If anybody wants to know what this country's cinema needs, I'd say less high-minded ruminating and more low cunning.
Of course, I'd rather watch Jerry Springer than Oprah.