The Setting Son

Heartfelt film about a family faced with leukemia is well intentioned, but result is a misfire. Shorn of rough language --- which in some scenes seems to be challenging the 1983 "Scarface" for most use of the "f-word" --- this might find a home on the small screen. Theatrical prospects are dim.

With:
Cal ..... Will (Chucky) Schaub Max ..... Darin Cooper Mary ..... Maureen Muldoon Junior ..... Brion James Claire ..... Sally Hughes Amber ..... Candace Lifson Sammy ..... Dave (The Shark) Oliver

Heartfelt film about a family faced with leukemia is well intentioned, but result is a misfire. Shorn of rough language — which in some scenes seems to be challenging the 1983 “Scarface” for most use of the “f-word” — this might find a home on the small screen. Theatrical prospects are dim.

Genesis of pic is screenwriter Will Schaub’s successful battle with cancer, and Schaub himself plays Cal, a competitive sailor who is faced with missing the Olympics when his brother (Darin Cooper) needs a bone marrow transplant. Cal rushes home to see if he is a match.

The film’s problems are many, beginning with the fact that, except for Cooper’s sweet-natured Max, most of the characters are self-absorbed whiners unable or unwilling to listen to anyone else. Schaub struts around as if overdosing on testosterone, sporting a bottle-blond dye job for part of the film.

Pic also sets up strange conflict in that Cal is forced to decide between competing in the Olympics and helping his brother. There is little sense of the time frame, and viewers are likely to wonder why he can’t do both. Pic further cheats by setting America’s Cup race as his supreme goal and making the Olympics the necessary qualifier.

Lisa Satriano’s direction is occasionally heavy-handed, especially in an extended p.o.v. scene through the eyes of the dying brother. Preliminaries, with film’s editor, David Oliver, as Cal’s sailing partner, go on far too long, so that the shift in action seems as if pic is starting all over again.

Tech credits are adequate, but source music comes close to drowning out dialogue in party scenes.

The Setting Son

Production: A Luv Shack Prods. presentation. Produced by Lisa Satriano, Scott Howell. Executive producers, Will Schaub, Satriano, David Oliver, Howell, Maureen Muldoon. Co-producer, Debra Grieco. Directed by Lisa Satriano. Screenplay, Will Schaub.

Crew: Camera (Crest National color), Garett Griffin; editor, David Oliver; music, Eric Colvin; production design, Tyler Patton; art direction, Jocelyn Fredman; costume design, Lisa Wong; sound, Steve Bowerman, John Willingham, Jonathan Catala; associate producer, Sherry Satriano; assistant director, Nick Satriano. Reviewed at Sony Theaters Copley Place, Boston, Sept. 16, 1997. (In Boston Film Festival.) Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Cal ..... Will (Chucky) Schaub Max ..... Darin Cooper Mary ..... Maureen Muldoon Junior ..... Brion James Claire ..... Sally Hughes Amber ..... Candace Lifson Sammy ..... Dave (The Shark) Oliver

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