Now out on home video, The Grand Seduction, a remake of the French-Canadian La grande séduction, is a heart-warming Canadian film that may be your perfect choice for those lazy days when you’re not quite willing to face the chilly, time-for-layers weather. It’s one of those films that is best viewed in the comfort of home, wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket and sipping a hot cup of tea. (Which is exactly what I’m planning for a re-watch and a date night-in with my mom.)
The Grand Seduction follows Murray (Brendan Gleeson), an out-of-work Newfoundlander who lives in the dying harbour of Tickle Head. Fishing has dried up and with government restrictions, the residents can no longer make a living from it. With only about four other places to work in the village—the post office, the bank, the restaurant and the bar—most are supported by welfare cheques or have headed to “town” (aka St. John’s) to find work. But the majority of them are not willing to leave the place that they have called home for so long. And that’s where Dr. Paul Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) comes in.
Caught at the airport with cocaine by the former mayor of Tickle Head, who left for town to find work leaving Murray to take his place, Paul says he’ll do anything for the mayor in return for his silence, mentioning that he’s a doctor. Next thing we know, Dr. Lewis is headed for Tickle Head, where the residents begin scheming to try to seduce him into staying permanently, needing a doctor to be able to fulfill the requirements on a bid for a factory, which would offer jobs to nearly the entire town.
Watching an older group from a simple fishing town try to seduce a young doctor from the city is endearing to say the least. For instance, knowing the doctor loves cricket, the women get to work using nearly every white (and arguably light-pink) sheet, curtain and tablecloth in the harbour to throw together cricket outfits, while the men “learn” the game—understanding just enough to fake it from afar for the doctor as he comes into the harbour. Tapping into his phone, they’re also able to add little details to the harbour town to further attract the city doctor based on his conversations, including adding a curry dish to a basic fish and vegetables menu. (It really does become a little strange that he doesn’t start to connect all of this.)
While the plot is rather formulaic, the characters are sweet and simple—even if they are a little bit conniving or, in the case of Paul, rather naïve. If you’re looking for an easy, lazy-day feel-good movie, I’d recommend The Grand Seduction. And even though I could talk about so much more, I’ll leave it to the film to seduce you.