The Grand Seduction follows the story of Murray French (Brendan Gleeson), a resident of a small fishing village known as Tickle Cove. The town are in serious need of a doctor, and not just for health related issues. They need him so that their town can acquire a factory, meaning their residents can become employed. The unfortunate thing is that their town isn't the most appealing one out there, especially for a doctor. So when a young doctor, Dr. Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) comes into town, the village attempt to mask their flaws and make it the most appealing village ever, which even includes them tapping into Lewis' phone and listening to everything he likes.
The Grand Seduction is an incredibly charming film. The film is light hearted fun and nothing more. It's got heart, a sense of humour and a delightful premise. Based on the foreign language film Seducing Doctor Lewis, which was released back in 2003, this film really knows how to make a good time. It's funny, but in a mature, yet slapstick kinda way. It doesn't require gross out gags or excessive swearing and sexual slurs to raise a belly laugh, although the scene with the whole town simultaneously having an orgasm would count as a wonderful exception. That's not to say that I don't find that sort of humour funny either, I do. Just look at me, I'm a freaking Kevin Smith fan, for goodness sake.
Brendan Gleeson is, as always, fantastic. This is like the thirty eighth film he's been in this year* and he's yet to fail. Seriously, this man can act, although I still haven't seen Calvary and I presume that it'll blow my socks off, or at least that's what I'm hearing from fellow critics. While Gleeson is boasting, it's Taylor Kitsch that really surprises. Kitsch has turned his career around big-time as of late. He's gone from starring in the god-awful John Carter and the mediocre Battleship (yes, I said mediocre. I find it kinda fun when the action scenes are on) to giving great performances in both this and Lone Survivor. Good on you Kitsch, good on you.
Despite it's charm, heart, humour and performances, the film never comes across as overly original, and I doubt the film it's remaking was either. It's a simple storyline with simple and familiar themes. It works, I'm not saying it doesn't, but it draws heavily from other films. It's not a major leap forward in the world of cinema, but for what it is, The Grand Seduction is a damn entertaining movie.
To sum up, The Grand Seduction has plenty of heart, plenty of humour, plenty of charm and plenty of great performances, especially from Kitsch and Gleeson, but it just doesn't have plenty of originality.
3 1/2 Stars