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The Perfect Son
The Perfect Son
Actors: Colm Feore, David Cubitt, Chandra West, John Boylan, Juan Chioran
Director: Leonard Farlinger
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
UR     2002     1hr 32min

Two brothers lives seem headed in opposite directions. Theo has spent his life in & out of drug rehab while ryan has enjoyed success as a conservative lawyer. When there father dies theo learns not only that ryan is gay bu...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Colm Feore, David Cubitt, Chandra West, John Boylan, Juan Chioran
Director: Leonard Farlinger
Creators: Barry Stone, Leonard Farlinger, Glenn Berman, Allan Levine, Jennifer Jonas, Tony Johnston
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: Wolfe Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 09/24/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Heartwarming study of male emotions
Dave Beards | Sydney Australia | 03/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In western culture, we men are brought up to believe that expressing or internally dealing with our emotions is a sign of weakness. This is often reflected in commercial movies and TV series where men are shown to deal with emotions like grief, anger and hurt with violence and self destructive behaviour. So it is with a sign of relief that I came across a movie such as The Perfect Son that illustrates a heartwarming emotional journey between two men.Ryan (Colm Feore) is a successful lawyer who has taken care of his father whilst younger brother Theo (David Cubitt) has excluded himself from his family and travelled down the road of drug abuse and self loathing. It is after the death of the Father where we see Ryan and Theo reunited.Initially distant and hesitant of acknowledging emotional bonds between them, Theo soon discovers Ryan's secret homosexuality and AIDS infection. It is from this point we see the 2 characters slowly come together, rebond and deal with the emotions between each other and the outside world.So we enter on a journey of both characters' self discovery and coming to terms with their weaknesses as well as strengths, and it is up to the audience to decide who is the 'perfect son', if indeed a perfect son exists at all.Both leads bring so much raw emotion to their roles to create believable three dimensional characters. This is not a movie where homosexuality or death is at the forefront of the story - instead they are used as vehicles to reunite the 2 brothers together and spark their emotional journey to reconnect.The DVD itself is well presented considering The Perfect Son is a small budget Canadian Film. The transfer is the original widescreen print presented in very high quality where the wonderful use of light in the film can be seen in every detail. A 'behind the scenes' featurette featuring interviews with the main actors and production crew provides additional insights into the film. A trailer, as well as trailers for other WolfeVideo DVD releases, are included also. However the one extra that stands out is the audio commentary by writer/director Leonard Farlinger and actor Colm Feore. Leonard is always engaging to listen to - he delves deeply into the story, filmmaking process and 'behind the scenes' and you really feel as though you have learned something from him, even though the discussion can get quite technical at times. After a slow start, Colm becomes just as engaging and it's interesting to hear an actors point of view of the movie making process.The Perfect Son touches on many taboo topics in society such as sexuality, death, euthanasia and abortion, however the main purpose of this movie is seeing 2 men dealing with their emotions is a way that is so very rarely seen in cinema. Highly recommended."
Poignant and Timely
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE PERFECT SON is one of those low budget Canadian films that seem to appear in the Video Store without ever having been noticed during the theater run. Sad fact - that the movie-going audience didn't take notice of this superb little film, but then perhaps its intimate qualities are better served on the home TV screen. "In my beginning is my end", a quote from TS Eliot, describes the beauty of the quality of this movie. This is a story about two brothers, coming together for the funeral of their father, their lives having been separated by secretive lifestyles: Theo (the younger) is a writer who spends his life more on the inside of drug rehab centers than in the real world and appears to be NOT the perfect son of the title; Ryan, who is a glossy lawyer, in charge of all the funereal details, appears to be the perfect son until we 'accidentaly' discover that his life style has contributed to a secret 10 years of IV infusions for AIDS. It is this disparity of lives that underlies the distance between the brothers until their mutual need for each other's care crumbles the walls a lifetime created. So which one (if eithr) is 'The Perfect Son'? In some hands this story could be a banal soap opera. Fortunately the writer and director and the two male leads bring power, credibilty, conviction, and a total lack of stereotype behaviour to these roles. Colm Feore and David Cubitt ( with a stunning role of Theo's girlfriend defoned by Chandra West) are both extraordinarily fine actors, making us not only believe in them separately and identify with their individual plights, but they have that rare ability to interact as brothers resolving the all too familiar familial estrangement in such a gently humorous and yet ultimately genuinely tender way. Quibbles Departmant: the editing of this film creates a choppy effect, dangling tiny moments of pure scenery or fragments of 2 lines of dialogue surrounded by slow fade in/fade out technique. But perhaps that is part of the mystery of the simplicity of this movie: life is a series of fleeting moments that can often appear as elusive as moths and breezes and perhaps that is what the director is pointing out in this wisely understated film. Highly recommended."
A story of humanity and connections
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 09/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Perfect Son" is the story of two thirty-something brothers, estranged for some time, who are reunited when the second of their parents passes away. The characters somewhat remind me of the two brothers in "Six Feet Under," in that one is (not openly) gay (and is generally perceived as the "good son," devoted to the family, former caretaker of the father during his final illness, and earning a good living) and one is straight (but has the perception of being irresponsible, even has a substance abuse problem, not good with relationships, and is an unpublished author who can't get his act together). In talks over their father's estate, Theo (the gay son) learns not just about his brother Ryan's sexuality, but the fact that he is in the final stages of AIDS. Theo becomes one of Ryan's caregivers, and, as they draw closer together, the relationship helps him to better deal with other issues in his life, including a relationship with a woman doctor. Though I wasn't expecting much from an indie Canadian film (which won their "Genie" award in 2001), I thought the production values and acting were quite good, and the story had positive notes among the sadness of dealing with death and illness."
Manipulative, but good.
Bob Lind | 07/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Parts of this film are emotionally brutal, and I must confess that I felt as though the filmakers were deliberately and relentlessly hitting "controversy"/"sensationalism" buttons. In 93 minutes we deal with drug abuse, euthanasia, abortion, closeted homosexuality, AIDS, gay-bashing, sex-clubs, musings about one's own mortality, and coping with the death of family members. Be forewarned: this is not stuff for a light evening.Having said all this, I appreciate that that the film was made. The acting is convincing and one does gain a sense of redemption watching the estranged brothers regain a a shared sense of filial love. Neither of the brothers is 100% likeable; indeed, both could easily be hated. But in truth all people have weaknesses, and a strength of the film is that a viewer comes to care about these two often unpleasant people. The younger brother's behavior in the last few minutes, while dramatic, loving, and selfless, does strain credibility; I suspect that most people in the depicted situation would would experience some discomfort or squeamishness."