Much commentary I have read on this film compares it to "The Shipping News" because it is set in Newfoundland. I would like to stress, however, that this movie is in no other way like "The Shipping News". Thank goodness. "Rare Birds" tells the story of Dave, a struggling restaurant owner who is recently separated from his wife. In order to boost Dave's spirits, and his business fortunes, his crackpot friend Alphonse (or "'Phonse") cooks up a scheme to lure bird watchers to the area. Meanwhile, Dave begins to fall in love with 'Phonse's sister-in-law. This is a charming film due in part to the beautiful scenery of the Newfoundland coast (which was so drearily washed-out in "The Shipping News"). The real gem of this film, however, is Dave's friend, 'Phonse, the inventor who sees conspiracies everywhere and always makes sure to have a "Plan B". I definitely recommend this film for some light, entertaining fare. I gave it a 7.