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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Ste-Marie-La-Mauderne is a small, depressed coastal village in Québec, where even fishing as an industry has died. Almost everyone is on welfare, including Germain Lesage. An option for most townsfolk is to move to the city, something that Germain refuses to do, even though his wife, Hélène, wants to at least consider it, just because her brother could provide her with a job. The Mayor, Réal Fournier, would sell out the townsfolk in his attempts to lure industry to the town, still with no takers. Part of their catch-22 situation in luring industry there is that there is no doctor, a condition made by one company owned by M. Dupré that would potentially locate his new plastic container factory there. As such, Germain and a few of his friends, Henri Giroux and Yvon Brunet, decide to reach out to every doctor in Québec to see if he/she can be enticed to move there. Due to a little police strong-arming, they get one nibble in the form of thirty-three year old Montréal plastic surgeon, Dr.... Written by
"Seducing Doctor Lewis" (or "La grande seduction") is the story of a remote Canadian community, an old fishing town, hoping to seduce a big-city doctor to move there so that a factory will open and take the town's population of 125 people off of public welfare. Following the precedent of "Doc Hollywood" and "Northern Exposure," the film highlights the attractive simplicity of small town life and makes it almost as irresistible to the audience as it is supposed to be to Doctor Lewis. The film has a couple small, but glaring, conceptual similarities to its predecessors: 1) as in "Doc Hollywood," the doctor is a plastic surgeon--i.e. just the sort of person who needs an adorable small town to straighten out his priorities, and 2) as in "Northern Exposure" the doctor is looking at a limited, 5-year stint in the town, something that seems more plausible than seeing a young doctor dedicating his entire future career to a town of just over 100 people. All in all, "Seducing Doctor Lewis" is the seductive little film it sets out to be, nearly mustering a charm equal to "Waking Ned Divine." And one has to admire the filmmakers for sidestepping the potential clichés that the film's ending could have stooped to. David Boutin, also, plays a very likable doctor, while looking strangely like a Dominique Pinon whose body has been stretched to leading-man proportions.
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