Men With Brooms
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An eccentric coach of a dysfunctional curling team has his sights set on winning Canada's greatest curling event - the Golden Broom.
Call it The Full Monty on ice. With tongue firmly in cheek, director-writer-star Paul Gross applies the old underdog sports-team formula to that great Northern obsession: curling. (You thought hockey was the national obsession? So did Canada.) You know the score: estranged teammates reunite to fulfill a dead man's last request, win glory for their fictional hometown, and earn back their hibernating self-respect. Square-jawed Gross recalls his Due South days as the amiable team captain, a boy scout with an impish streak. Leslie Nielsen turns down the usual goofball shtick to play Gross's crotchety, self-medicating father. There are enough issues here to fuel a dozen movies and none of them packs the punch of a pint of Molson's beer, which is just the right tone for this off-center sports spoof, a story of little victories, big stones, and beavers on the move. --Sean Axmaker
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If anybody could possibly explain curling to those of us raised well away from its frozen origins, this movie comes pretty close. It also provides a view to the wonderfully skewed world of Canadian self-effacing humor. (No, self-effacing isn't the right word, and a trip to the Thesaurus did not help. Just remember while watching, it is funny!) Curling is a sport and a cultural phenomenon. Like Ice Hockey, it helps if your brain is thoroughly chilled by months of grey skies, ice, and snow and also warmed with doses of real alcohol. It may also help if you have just a bit of Scottish blood coursing through your veins.
By the end of the movie, I was actually lulled into thinking there is sanity in this sport. What?!! What is so funny about exploding 42-pound hunks of polished granite? I am not smart enough to know, but it is funny! And what is so funny about storing these marvelous chunks of stone at the bottom of a very cold lake?
Humans are amazing!
If you think this review is senseless, watch the movie. At least you will laugh hard at the complete senselessness.
Now if someone could make a movie that explains the Texas Aggies or the Georgia Bulldogs to those of us who deal with them daily, but without the benefit of having attended their august alma mater...
But the frequency of "f"-bombs and other profanities/obscenities and the amount of gratuitous sexual content (especially during the first half of the movie) really kinda wrecked it for us.
This could have been a Canadian "Nacho Libre"—seriously funny yet clean overall. However, director Paul Gross took the easy, low road instead of the more creative high road to reach his comedy objective.
My wife and I wanted to love this film; we really did. But from our perspective it has WAY too much gratuitous language and sexual content.
Couldn't read the figures on the check they finally earned for all that ruthless determination, spirituality, and honor defining their slow-mo game. Okay, sport. The training exercises were hysterical, as was the male bonding session, though watching that hot industrial slag pour down behind the heaps they were relaxing on with tokes was a bit unnerving. Great shot, though!
Paul Gross is excellent, directing as well as playing a soulful, likeable cad a smart woman wouldn't hook up with on a bet. Well, maybe on a bet... Molly Parker, as his wistful overlooked wannabe girlfriend, sister to his wistful, jilted astronaut/bride [Michelle Nolden] was perfect. The rest of the cast were also smack "on the button", with Leslie Nielson impeccable as Gross' father who raises "magic" mushrooms by growing them in the end product from his poor dairy cow. Not talking milk here.
Oddly eclectic music choices for the score, but each works in its place for curling, romance, curling, and confused militant beaver stampedes. I'm basically a basalt woman myself, but the granite men held my attention throughout, no problem. Highly recommended for Canadaphiles. And other types who don't think they live far enough north.