A much-needed boost, in the form of a new factory, is promised to the residents of the tiny fishing village St. Marie-La-Mauderne, provided they can lure a doctor to take up full-time residency on the island. Inspired, the villagers devise a scheme to make Dr. Christopher Lewis a local.
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St. Marie-La-Mauderne is a tiny fishing village in what some may call the middle of nowhere. For eight years the locals have stood in line for weekly welfare checks, wearing patched sweaters and glum expressions, and remembering the good old days when the catch was good, the fishermen were proud, and life seemed a lot more magical. Then one day, a chance at salvation: a small company wants to build a factory on the island, but only if a full-time doctor lives in St. Marie. The situation seems hopeless until a young doctor in Montreal has an unfortunate incident with a traffic cop and finds himself on a boat to the faraway village. But how to convince handsome, young, urbane Dr. Lewis to stay in this dreary little spot on the map? As it turns out, the answer lies in just a bit of seductive subterfuge--along with a tapped phone, a hastily assembled cricket team, and something called Festival de Beef Stroganoff. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
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Listening to the movie's director, Jean-François Pouliot, talk about himself, La Grande seduction (or "Seducing Doctor Lewis" as it is being titled at the Sundance Film Festival) is his first full-length featured film with his past credits according him are 30-second commercials. Based on the nearly sold-out house at the Perry Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah his movie was easily a hit. The English subtitles seemed to fade away part way through the movie, always a good sign and the laughter and chuckles for the witty comedic vehicle were plenty. Deliberately the director and scriptwriter agreed on very little sex and romance and instead this film delivered its message in the most difficult of ways - using true irony and sensitive ethical reflection. The cursing, even was held to a minimum, as the predominate cursing word used in the film were actually made up by the film crew. This "Doc Hollywood" feeling movie adds a much more geniune flavor of true isolated, fishing community out of work nuances that "Doc Hollywood" failed to capture and went more towards the typical Hollywood approach. Seducing Doctor Lewis bring a whole different texture to comedy with charming, intelligent openness and candor often overlooked in American theater. Except for the miscue in the creation of cricket game field lines as admitted by the director, and in my opinion a sudden turn of events at the end (without the more delicious build up with Eve and the Doctor), this movie shines to find an American film distributor so that Americans can have an opportunity to see this fun and delightful, entertaining bit of country charm. Eight out of ten stars.
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