Review: The Grand Seduction
Last week I was able to track down a theatrical viewing of The Grand Seduction, a Canadian comedy film that originally premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. In my experience, films that debut at any festival are hard to find. Release tends to be in select theaters and their dates are vastly inaccurate. I still haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Only Lovers Left Alive and you have no idea how much this pains me.
This particular film is based on the 2003 film Seducing Doctor Lewis, with the original French title La grande séduction. While it premiered in 2013 at TIFF, it’s only just trickled out into select theaters around May 2014.
The Grand Seduction is a comedy about the small harbour of Tickle Head, Newfoundland. What was once a thriving fishing industry is now home to a scant one hundred or so people struggling to make ends meet on welfare cheques. Tickle Head has a bid in for a petrochemical factory to be built in their area, which if accepted, would result in many jobs. Unfortunately, the company won’t even consider the harbour unless they have a resident doctor, something they’ve lacked for a very long time.
Through interesting circumstances, a temporary doctor is lured to the harbour. Murray French, one of the town residents, takes charge of the situation and with the help of the community, set out to woo the doctor to reside permanently.
I couldn’t tell you the names of any of the actors without looking it up, but whoever they are, they did a really good job. They made the harbour community absolutely real. This heartfelt comedy managed to elicit some laughs from my theater company and I…and maybe a little tearing up.
The character of Murray French was extremely likable while Doctor Lewis might be more relatable to city-dwelling viewers. I myself live in a town of nine hundred people, which isn’t as small as Tickle Head, but still pretty small.
The setting they filmed in was absolutely beautiful. My family originates also from Nova Scotia, the neighbouring province just below Newfoundland, so I also experienced quite a bit of nostalgia.
If you can find this film, I’d absolutely recommend it. It’s currently ranking as one of my favourite films that I’ve seen in 2014.