A se­ri­ous tickle of your sen­si­bil­i­ties . . .

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT FILM - THERESA SMITH

IN THE Grand Se­duc­tion a har­bour com­mu­nity en­ti­tled Tickle Cove tries to lure a big time city doc­tor to set­tle in their tiny vil­lage.

They need his pres­ence to per­suade a po­ten­tial in­vestor to build a fac­tory in their eco­nom­i­cally de­pressed area, but how do you per­suade some­one to move to the mid­dle of nowhere in New­found­land?

South African au­di­ences will find some mea­sure of res­o­nance with the idea of this fish­ing com­mu­nity which is now not al­lowed to do what they were born to do – dwin­dling quo­tas have af­fected sev­eral lo­cal small com­mu­ni­ties in a sim­i­lar way.

A dif­fer­ence though, is that this par­tic­u­lar Cana­dian com­mu­nity can sur­vive on wel­fare. They’re not happy do­ing it, and it is dif­fi­cult, but they aren’t left to­tally des­ti­tute.

The peo­ple are spir­i­tu­ally and men­tally bereft though, left as they are with­out a common pur­pose, and they shuf­fle through the day, from har­bour to bar. This is in to­tal con­trast to the be­gin­ning of the film which paints a pic­ture of a proud com­mu­nity of hard-work­ing tra­di­tion­al­ists.

Bren­dan Glee­son plays Mur­ray French, who be­comes the de facto mayor when he de­cides to chivvy along the process. His wife Bar­bara (Cathy Jones) is work­ing on the main­land and he re­alises that the only way she can come back is if there is work for her.

French be­comes a sort of sub­sti­tute fa­ther fig­ure to Dr Lewis (Kitsch) who is charmed by the vil­lage – what the good doc­tor doesn’t re­alise though, is it is all a con­certed ef­fort and what he takes to be “good, hon­est peo­ple” is all a sham.

Even though it is all a sham, there is a broad streak of re­al­ism run­ning through the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, which grounds the film in re­al­ity. Plus, the pris­tine scenery is ab­so­lutely cap­ti­vat­ing.

Glee­son’s ex-fish­er­man turned oc­ca­sional poacher is charm­ing, while his friend and side-kick, Si­mon (Pin­set), gets the good lines.

Kitsch plays a nice guy, a crick­et­lov­ing plas­tic sur­geon who just wants to find his place in the world.

The dram­edy about men out of work is sweet and pleas­ant, even ap­peal­ing in a cheery Mary Pop­pins sort of way. But, on the down­side, ev­ery­thing about it is just as cal­cu­lated as the vil­lagers at­tempt to snooker the doc­tor. As long as you turn your cyn­i­cism way down, it works. But, if you purse your lips and nar­row your eyes even a lit­tle bit, it turns sappy and soppy.

Pre­dictable as it is, this is still way more sooth­ing to watch than watch­ing a straight-to-video thriller filled with gra­tu­itous vi­o­lence.

If you liked Se­duc­ing Doc­tor Lewis, yes this is a re­make.

HAV­ING A PUR­POSE: Mur­ray (Glee­son) and best friend Si­mon (Pinsent) put their heads to­gether to come up with a plan to save Tickle Cove.

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