A down-and-out restaurateur and his neighbor hatch a plan to lure luminaries to their small Newfoundland town.


Sturla Gunnarsson


Edward Riche (novel), Edward Riche (screenplay)
6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Dave
Andy Jones Andy Jones ... Phonce
Molly Parker ... Alice
Vicky Hynes Vicky Hynes ... Deb
Greg Malone Greg Malone ... Buster Bartlett
Michael Chiasson Michael Chiasson ... Dr. Jack Tomlinson
Barry Newhook Barry Newhook ... Caller #1 / Hostage
Laura Tobin Laura Tobin ... Girl #1
Maggie Meyer Maggie Meyer ... Girl #2
Frankie O'Neill Frankie O'Neill ... Brit Woman
Lawrence Barry ... Hooligan
Leah Lewis Leah Lewis ... Bette
Todd Perrin Todd Perrin ... Cook
Deidre Gillard-Rowlings ... Waitress
Matthew Clarke Matthew Clarke ... Bartender


Dave is down. His wife lives in Washington, D.C.; his restaurant, the Auk, in an out-of-the-way Newfoundland inlet, is a bust; a drink is rarely out of reach. An odd-duck of a neighbor, Phonce, who has found ten kilos of cocaine and wants Dave's help selling it, contrives to keep Dave in town by faking and reporting the sighting of a rare bird. Soon birders descend from everywhere, and the restaurant is a success. Dave is snorting the cocaine and falling for a young visitor who helps him out at the Auk, Phonce is launching his recreational submarine, and various men who don't look like birders are poking about. When the chickens come home to roost, will Dave and Phonse have a Plan B? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fortune can make a man do some pretty fowl things.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Director Sturla Gunnarsson did not cast all of the smaller parts, but filled them with interesting characters he encountered during shooting. Barry Newhook, who was a grip for the film, played the role of a hostage, as well as the voice of a caller to a radio show. See more »


Level of wine glass when Dave and Phonse are eating in the kitchen. See more »


Phonce: There's a phone booth down by the baseball diamond. Now nobody will see you there and it's nice and quiet.
Dave: Why can't we make the phone call from here?
Phonce: Because, sir, we've got to cover our backs. Alright, Dave? They've probably got some sort of a call-tracing mechanism down at the CBC just in case some lunatic calls in and says he's planning on skullfucking the premier.
See more »


Christina's Dream/Tootsie-Wootsie
Written by Emile Benoit
Performed by Emile Benoit
Courtesy of Amber Music
See more »

User Reviews

A lighthearted and fun film!
1 June 2002 | by kergillianSee all my reviews

This isn't the film of the year. It won't dazzle you or make you cry a hundred times over. But it will give you a couple of hours' worth of solid and fun-filled entertainment. Molly Parker is alluring and charismatic, and Andy Jones is an absolutely brilliant standout.

William Hurt, however, is lacking. Perhaps it's simply because every time I see William Hurt attempting romance on the screen I picture the Elephant Man, but I really think he's a stock character here - or should I say a stock actor. He's just too awkward and stiff. Now, I know his character is *supposed* to be awkward and stiff, but he seems so in a more uncomfortable manner, it doesn't feel as though he's comfortable in his role.

That aside, the film is filled with light humour, and a great story full of quirks and chuckles. It's maybe fifteen minutes too long, drags a touch towards the end, but it certainly kept me interested. And Phonse (Andy Jones) is so good when he's on screen, he basically steals the show.

Overall, it's a warm and humourous film, a great film to watch amidst million dollar blockbusters that forgo plot and quality of film-making for big names and razzle-dazzle effects, and films that are begging for Oscars and take themselves WAY too seriously. It's nice to watch something that's 'just a film' for once! And the 'Made in Canada' doesn't hurt either! 7/10.

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Release Date:

18 July 2003 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Rare Birds See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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