Not quite as intriguing as its title suggest, The Grand Seduction is nothing more than a sentimental small-town drama.
An English remake of Jean-François Pouliot’s 2003 French film La Grande Séduction (Seducing Doctor Lewis),
the film follows the lives of blue-collar workers in the recession hit harbour town of Tickle Head.
The fishing market has collapsed and the men are out of work, living on social welfare. They hear of a company interested in opening a petrochemical factory in the area and view it as an opportunity for job creation.
Dubiously, the firm will not place its plant there unless they have a full-time doctor. So when physician and cricket fan Dr Paul Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) comes to visit, the townsmen, led by Brendan Gleeson posing as mayor, devise a plan to seduce the surgeon to sign up as the official village doctor.
It’s an idyllic world, but it’s not all that bad. Set in New-foundland’s Trinity Bay, the harbour’s picturesque landscape
makes a beautiful setting. It touches on togetherness and a time when tiring, physical work gave men pride.
It does, however, neglect small-town values and the environmental factors involved in setting up a by-product repurposing facility. Even the slight romantic setup between Kitsch and Liane Balaban as Kathleen (the postal lady) is bland.
It’s certainly not grand, but neither is it unpleasant. It’s sweet, with an affable charm.
If you’re looking to pass the time, The Grand Seduction is your answer – but those seeking something a little more
riveting may want to give this one a skip.