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
The tiny ("microscopic" as Dr. Lewis puts it) village of Ste. Marie du Mauderne is in trouble. Fishing is dead and all of its inhabitants are on welfare, and they can't get any economic help unless they can get a plastic container factory to build there--but for that they must have a population of at least 200 and a full-time doctor. The village has neither. What they do have is a collection of memorable and wonderful characters who are willing to do anything they have to to get the factory--including coercing a doctor--a plastic surgeon named Christopher Lewis--to give them a month-long trial. The mayor of the town, Germain, is the instigator of the plot to "seduce" Dr. Lewis into find the village irresistible so he will sign on permanently. Immediately they begin to manufacture anything they need to get him to sign a contract: they give him a home (the "modern" house of the bank manager which he finds incredibly ugly,) cook his favorite foods in the restaurant, take him fishing (putting frozen fish on his hook for him to pull up,) even manage his appointments so he's not overwhelmed with work. And since the doctor is a cricket fan, they also form a team--complete with homemade white sweaters--even though none of the Quebecers knows a single thing about the game. There's a memorable moment when the mayor tries to get the men to understand that cricket is a GAME--not an insect. It's one of the funniest exchanges in the film. Germain, his best friend Yvon, the bank manager (whose fear of being replaced by a bank machine is constant)and the rest of the villagers do everything possible to make the seduction work, including tapping the doctor's phone calls to his girlfriend Brigitte, (who is cheating on him in Montreal,) and pretending he's like the son Germain lost as a child (Germain and his wife are childless.) The fake cricket game alone is worth the rental fee for the film. When the factory representatives come to inspect the village and don't believe there are 200 inhabitants they move the entire population from one building to another, while the people change clothes along the run, to fool the reps. They finally realize how dangerous it is to lie about everything you are, even if it's for a good cause, when the doctor tells them how hurt he was by his girlfriend's deceptions. It seems their seduction may be over, but there are still surprises in store.
The film was beautifully made, with fine performances and well-drawn, multi-layered characterizations--it's not slapstick but it's just tongue-in-cheek enough that although you will find yourself laughing out loud at some of the antics, you'll also be smiling inwardly at the very lovableness of the people who are pulling them.
Well recommended. A charming film enjoyable by everyone (anyone who can read the subtitles.) Some adult themes, but nothing objectionable.
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