B.C. director Terry Miles is back with a slight story about sibling rivalry, sexual infidelity and writer’s block. Making a movie about a writer with writer’s block is hardly inspired, and the film does suffer from a lack of originality. A couple of brothers head to a Vancouver Island retreat but what looked like a fishing trip to Terrance is actually a chance for David to cheat on his current wife with his ex-wife. Embarrassment all around. Terrance reacts by looking at porn and sleeping with just about every lady in the film.
I’m not convinced by the urban sophisticates who people Miles’s films (his previous film was When Life Was Good at VIFF 2008), characters who bring a garment bag to a rustic cabin and wear white pants to the beach. But the pretentiousness of The Red Rooster is childish somehow, and so is less offensive than it sounds. I liked the film in spite of myself and marvelled at the idea that an unpublished B.C. writer might be such a revered badboy. Much of the appeal comes from the actors, Miles’s stable, who bring depth to the characters even when the plot and dialogue aren’t that great.
I think Miles missed an opportunity to make more of the eponymous Red Rooster, a famous café location in Five Easy Pieces, which David has been looking for only to find it has been knocked down. Delving into this detail might have given the film whole layers of nuance and thought.