In the Grand Seduction, directed by Don McKeller, a big city doctor finds himself out of his element in a remote Newfoundland village that is filled with unusual characters. One might expect such a film to be a cross between “Northern Exposure” and “The Shipping News,” but it proved to be nothing like either.
The small harbor village of Tickle Head, Newfoundland, needs a doctor. The town leaders want to secure a contract for a petroleum byproduct repurposing plant, but the petroleum corporation has told them that they will not build the factory unless the town can prove it has a doctor. The fishing has dried up and there are no jobs for Tickle Headers. The townspeople need the petroleum factory to get off welfare and regain their dignity. However, what doctor in his right mind would want to live in Tickle Head?
The former mayor of Tickle Head, who takes a job in the Canadian equivalent of the TSA, finds cocaine in the luggage of young man, played by Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights). As luck would have it, the man happens to be a recently minted plastic surgeon. The former mayor lets him slide in exchange for a stint as the town doctor of Tickle Head.
Dr. Lewis is to stay long enough in Tickle Head to convince the corporate bigwigs at the petroleum company that he is legitimate – yet he has no knowledge of the scheme. Meanwhile, the Tickle Headers will resort to all manner of covert shenanigans to convince Dr. Lewis that he wants to stay.
Beautifully filmed and well-acted, this rollicking comedy entertains and ends on a positive note. Brendan Gleeson and Gordon Pinsent give excellent performances as a couple of grizzled old fishermen who love their town and will do anything to save it.
While the plot is fairly basic and the message weak, if you’re looking for a good mindless comedy that provides lots of laughs, this one is for you.