Director, scriptwriter, producer. CFC-trained Torontonian Farlinger made a strong impact with his first feature, The Perfect Son (2000, 93), an AIDS melodrama built around the conflictual relationship of two brothers, a respectable older brother who is gay and dying of AIDS and a the younger “black sheep” brother who is neither. Queer-friendly Farlinger based the script in part on the story of his own late brother, and received respectful notices at both mainstream and queer festivals around the world, above all for the effective chemistry between heavyweight Canadian actor Colm Feore as the PWA and TV hunk Sean Cubitt as his brother. The film handles sexuality and the pandemic with humour and sensitivity, but Xtra critic David Collins commented on Farlinger’s timing:
People die of AIDS, even today in the world of invasive drug treatments. People die and it is horrible. But do we really need another film at this point in the history of AIDS that maps the death of a person with AIDS as inevitable? ... The Perfect Son is unmista.k.a.bly a well-crafted, passionately told film—unfortunately, a decade late (25 Jan. 2001).