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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2004
A bunch of friends and I found this movie in an attempt to have a movie night of "non-sport" sport movies. We thought, "Surely, a Canadian movie about curling made by and starring the star of ASPEN EXTREME and featuring Leslie Nielsen will have to be so bad, it'll amaze us." Well, we were amazed, but not by its badness. It wasn't what I would call a genuinely amazing movie, either. I guess it was amazing in how NOT bad it was. Paul Gross and company do trot out many of the underdog sports movie clichés but always with just the faintest hint of tongue-in-cheek to keep the viewer from feeling like it's just another silly sports movie. Leslie Nielsen is also a nice touch. He gets to exercise his straight comedic talents for a change, and I personally think he's much more interesting when he does. It's still a silly comedy, but it's fun that you won't feel so guilty about liking. I recommend you check it out if you get a chance. (Besides, you have to see it if only so you can check out the rival team in polka dot lamé track suits and the inexplicable abundance of beavers that show up rather randomly throughout the movie.)
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2004
"Lagaan" proved a couple of years ago that you could make a good movie about a truly boring sport: cricket. You can even make a movie that makes it almost comprehensible. Now, "Men With Brooms" shows that you can make a good and funny movie about another boring sport: curling.
While no one will be nominating "Men With Brooms" for any awards, it's a surprisingly watchable, funny movie that follows the good, old-fashioned 'reunite the underdogs' sports movie formula with a bit of "Red Green"esque Canadian men making gentle fun of themselves. Sadly, I think it never saw an American release, but its worth adding to anyone's collection of funny sports movies.
Even the performances in this movie break above the usual sports/romantic comedy level. Paul Gross (who I have sadly never seen in "Due South") plays a convincingly cynical sports star come home to small-town Ontario. Leslie Nielsen breaks typecast for a crotchety, but still-funny former curling star, and Bob Bainborough (Dalton Humphrey on "Red Green") steals his scenes as a curling announcer reminiscent of a less-grating Bob Uecker in "Major League".
I recommend this movie for sports nuts, romantic comedy fans, and people with a soft spot for Canadian humor. I found it to be a pleasant surprise, and I'll bet you will too...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"I think that there is something really fantastic about Canadian iconography," confesses actor/director/writer/musician Paul Gross, better known as überpolite, by-the-book RCMP Constable Benton Fraser on "Due South." "When you think about it, it's sort of bizarre--beaver, maple leaf. There is an oddball quality to it that is both noble, melancholy and laughable all at the same time, and I think that there is something really wonderful in that." Which pretty much sums up "Men With Brooms," a quirky Canadian comedy that sweeps audiences off its feet (bad curling pun intended).
If "Men With Brooms" suffers from one particular ailment, it would be that it tries to be a number of different films rolled into one: a love story, a buddy film, a curling documentary of sorts, the quintessential Canadian comedy. But the strength of its original script and ensemble cast really shines. Big name Canadian talent includes Paul Gross ("Due South," "Hamlet" at Stratford), Molly Parker ("Five Senses," "Rare Birds,") and Leslie Nielsen ("Due South," "Airplane," "Naked Gun"), although all of the actors do a fantastic job.
The basic premise is that Donald Foley, the beloved coach of the Long Bay, Ontario curling team has just died, and in his videotaped will he wants the team to reunite and attempt to win the Golden Broom, the most prestigious award in curling. The skip, Chris Cutter, left town ten years ago after losing an important game and leaving his fiancée Julie, Donald's daughter, standing at the altar. Now he has to attempt the impossible by reuniting his old teammates (a drug dealer, a mortician in a lifeless marriage, and a frustrated husband with a single-digit sperm count) and attempting to win the Golden Broom, as well with making peace with his father (Leslie Neilsen), Julie and himself.
In the "quirky Canadian comedy" tradition à la "Rare Birds," "Shipping News," and yes, "Strange Brew," "Men With Brooms" exalts the quirky charm of the Canadian character. This is evident from the film's opening scene, which pans from a gorgeous shot of the Canadian wilderness to an avant-garde bagpiper (who makes several appearances throughout the film) and a whole lotta computer-generated beavers (yes, beavers!). The film's music, much like that of "Due South," also serves to promote Canadian talent: The Tragically Hip (who also make an appearance as a curling team at the bonspiel), Sarah Harmer, Our Lady Peace, The New Pornographers, Sean McDonald, Big Sugar, Tom Wilson, the Matthew Good Band, Pepper Sands, Chantal Kreviazuk, Holly McNarland, and a beautiful country-rock love ballad by Paul Gross (who has released two albums, "Two Houses" and "Love and Carnage" as well as contributions to the "Due South" soundtracks). A very pleasing film on a number of levels and a darn tootin' lot o' fun, too, eh?!? There is some strong language and a number of implied sexual scenes, so if this offends you consider yourself forewarned. If you love oddball humour, Canadian films, curling or any combination of the three, this film is for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2010
I was intrigued by the curling event at the last winter Olympics, but I didn't go out of my way to see Men with Brooms for several years. To think that I wasted all that time. This is a very funny romantic comedy and it taught me a great deal about the sport of curling. I loved the soundtrack, the herd? of beavers, the clever dialog, the romance, the peek at Canadian life, and the tight storyline. Paul Gross did a great job directing this movie and acting one of the principal roles. I highly recommend that everyone go on and see some of his other work: Due South (this TV series is where I started - a very funny story of a Canadian mountie who moves to Chicago with his wolf to find his father's killer and stays to help the Chicago police), Slings and Arrows (a great comedy TV series about a Shakespearean festival theatre in Canada with a ghost, several love stories, quirky actors, backstage drama, and a heartless business manager. As a side benefit, I learned a lot about Shakespeare's plays and how to appreciate them.), Passchendaele (a beautifully filmed story of Canadians in a World War I battle and a love story related to it), Getting Married in Buffalo Jump (a terrific love story with a great deal of depth, set on an Alberta ranch), and H2O & it's sequel, Trojan Horse (I haven't seen H2O yet, but Trojan Horse is a wonderfully tense political drama involving the merging of Canada and the United States and centering on a Presidential election where you really don't know who the good guys are).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2004
Some of you might not even know what curling is, but it is big in Canada and some northern European countries. The object is to slide big stones over ice to some kind of bulls eye... Just wait for the next winter Olympics!
This story is about a great team that had to split up after the captain cheated. Ten years later their coach has died and in his will asks them to once more try and win the title.
'Men with brooms' feels like some of the great comedies from Brittain in the last 10 years like 'The Full Monty', 'Billy Elliot' and 'Bend it like Beckham'. The characters are down-to-earth but have a comic twist. Some running gags like trying to get pregnant are also hilarious, especially because the guy is the biggest dork around.
It's fun, maybe not worth the price though. Oh yeah, Leslie Nielsen (Naked Gun) also plays in this movie and is funny.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2002
I caught this over the weekend and then had to go back. What a sweet, funny movie! I'm so glad it finally got a big-screen release in the USA! The Canadian setting and the curling give the movie a freshness to US eyes, even though the sports story is a classic. There's also a heartfelt story about finding love and redemption. Strong women characters raise this above the usual male-oriented comedy film, and there's a lot of verbal humor as well as slapstick. Paul Gross does a wonderful job as the prodigal son. His character is flawed but likable and he's devastatingly attractive. His many fans from his days as the Mountie on "Due South" will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2002
I went to see this movie at the theater because I am a Paul Gross (the mountie in Due South) fan. I knew almost nothing about the sport of curling and still I loved this movie. It's funny, it's romantic; it's got action and angst and humor and a great story.
Gross plays Chris Cutter, a guy who returns home 10 years after he walked out on his fellow curling teammates during a championship. He comes back for the coach's funeral. When the will is read, the coach asks the teammates to get together again and go for the golden broom (the most pretigious curling trophy in Canada).
They all hem and haw, but decide to try. Their first match, against a group of octogenerians, is a disaster. So it's off to train in a hilarious sequence of events.
Along the way, there is lots of angst between Paul and his former fiance (Michelle Nolden), whom he never said good-bye to when he left. There is also the fiance's baby sister (wonderfully portrayed by Molly Parker) who has always had a thing for Paul and still does. More angst. Yum.
Paul's teammates are quite a group. Peter Outerbridge is charming and funny as the gang's womanizer who can't remember the names of women he sleeps with. Jed Rees is adorable as a loving, but frustratingly infertile husband. James Allodi is the down on his luck guy who must choose between curling and his wife, who aspires to high society. A wonderful group of people, who we come to care for.
Paul Gross wrote the screenplay and directed it. He does a great job. Buy it! You won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2002
Men With Brooms is so much more than your average testosterone-dominated sports comedy. This movie is "about curling" the way Field of Dreams was "about baseball." On, it is listed as a comedy/drama/romance, and rightfully so. There's something in this movie for everyone: lots of Canadian references and jokes, many of them tongue-in-cheek, some great laughs, nutty comedy bordering on farce, and some surprisingly dark and somber moments, too. At its heart, this movie is ultimately about people who have made mistakes, but can still mend relationships, find forgiveness, and win redemption. Even its silliest moments often have a deeper underlying theme waiting for the viewer to discover and think about. The great music (all Canadian, of course) had me boppin' in my seat, and the hilarious outtakes at the end of the movie were worth the price of admission all by themselves! A great film that I will definitely buy for my DVD library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2002
This is a great movie. Paul Gross and the others did a great job of it. Not only is it funny it is also enjoyable to watch as well. And it's a sport that is doing so well here in Alberta and all over the Country. It is great to see Paul doing so well with his career. He is a great actor. And it is also nice to see Canadian Actors doing a Canadian Production that was also done in Canada. I do hope Paul Gross may do another Production in Canada sometime soon. Paul you are very Talent man with a great gift that you are able to show in plays, movies and when you are doing difference things on TV. Paul keep up with the great work you do. I do enjoy watching you as a actor in the difference projects you are doing or may do in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2004
I recently rented this movie because, being a huge due South fan, I knew I had to see it. I cracked up through the whole thing. This movie has plenty of good random humor. It also has a sweet love story woven into it. I had no problems getting the Canadian humor thanks to years of watching due South. I dont think you really have to know the sport of curling to get this movie though. It's just good fun. It's Mystery Alaska meets The Replacements.
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