Past Perfect Daniel MacIvor

Past Perfect Daniel MacIvor
Cecil and Charlotte sat on a plane. Cecil and Charlotte were happy again. And all the king's horses and all the king's men conspired to make the two of them miserable again. Why miserable, you ask? Let's start with the premise — a cross-country flight from Halifax to Vancouver where two people are flung together by circumstance and then forced to get along. Past Perfect attempts to mine this most unappealing of cringe-inducing circumstances and we get to come along for the ride and watch every soul-sucking detail. Oh joy. Not that the landing is any better. Two years later we find them unhappily co-habiting in a modular house whose interior is as cold as their demeanour towards one another. Charlotte (Rebecca Jenkins) smokes and watches a great deal of television. Cecil (Daniel McIvor) reads and periodically looks off emotively into the distance. Periodically, the two stop doing this and speak to each other, a development that usually ends with one of them stomping out of a room. Whether in anger or frustration, I cannot say, as both characters' motivations are as convoluted as the Air Canada Rewards plan. One thing is for sure though: somewhere within this set of confusing behaviours a relationship was born. Daniel McIvor has a full plate playing the lead, writing the script and helming the film, and it shows. He attempts to lead us somewhere new but the process is so long and drawn out that it feels like we are trapped on an actual flight between Halifax and Vancouver. The leap of faith lays not so much in the film's premise as it does with the believability of the characters themselves. McIvor, a formidable writer in his own right, is unable to convince us that either of these characters ever really dug each other to begin with. Whether this is a fault of the script or the direction is left to debate, but what is clear is by story's end is that two fine actors have been left floating in the wind. Excuse me, stewardess can I have a Seconal? The extras include a wry commentary by the film's director and a short featurette on the making of the film in which the characters go on about how fabulous the premise is. Extras: commentary; featurette; cast and crew bios. (Mongrel Media)