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With Jim Sabatini


The Grand Seduction

The Grand Seduction
Starring:
Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch and Liane Balaban


Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive material and drug references.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date:  June 13, 2014 Released by: Entertainment One

Slight, but likable Canadian comedy filmed in the Newfoundland environs is a remake of a French film (Seducing Doctor Lewis) and follows admirably in the footsteps of whimsical English comedies (remember Waking Ned Devine). Its manner of narrative subterfuge invites comparison to the winningly poignant Peter Weir film The Truman Show which proved to be a fruitful departure for comedic actor of contortionist proportions Jim Carrey.

The province's very rural harbor hamlet Tickle Cove is the locale for some understated wit in the screenplay by co-writer Ken Scott and direction by Don McKellar involves welfare residents who by too fishing have become reliant on subsidy and apparently do nothing for medical care.

The plot relies on manipulation and coincidence with  Big Apple-based corporate stalwarts eventually scouting a future home of their oil plant where their must be certification of a resident doctor. This plant could employ Tickle Cove's 120 residents, but it isn't so easy to officially retain someone to treat them.

Getting a closer look at the denizens at work in their daily lives as leading spokesperson Murray French (Brendan Gleeson) along with them tries sway Dr. Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) who happens to be visiting for a month.

Small checks are being swallowed up at the local taverns as aging switchboard operators eavesdrop on conversations made by Dr. Lewis to his sweet, if sardonic convenience store employee girlfriend (Liane Balaban). Part of the fun of the titular endeavor is Gordon Pinsent's Simon, partner and fellow carouser of French getting a "fish" on his hook, as well as cricket and jazz which the doctor loves but they either know nothing about or dislike.

It's a formula that ensures its share of delights presumably for an easy-going audience more advanced in their years rendering a humble, down-home fraudulence that with agreeable work by Gleeson and the ensemble makes for a Seduction more grand than bland.

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