Grand Seduction, The (2013)
A small village organizes an elaborate deception in order to create jobs for the town.
113 min
Comedy, Romance
Taylor Kitsch, Brendan Gleeson
Don McKellar
Ken Scott, Mike Dowse
52 year-old Murray French lies in bed. He is having a recurring dream about his father, who was a successful fisherman. Young Murray watches proudly watching as his father helps haul in the day’s catch. The entire village of Dunfield Cross makes love as they celebrate life and happiness. Present-day Murray wakes up from the dream. He leaves his father’s house, and makes his way through the now run-down village to pick up a welfare check, which he immediately cashes at the bank. Murray goes home where his wife, Barb, tells him her brother called about a job opening in the nearby city. They get into their usual argument about poverty, not wanting to leave their home, and the lack of work in the village. Barb reveals that the job is for her. Murray is stunned, and abruptly leaves for the town meeting. The Mayor, Henry Tilly, and another townsperson, Simon, are the only ones at the meeting until Murray shows up. They discuss their proposal to the government for a service base. The Mayor says he tried to strengthen the proposal, but there is still no resident doctor in the village, even though they have been looking for one for 8 years. Murray, Henry, and Simon leave and go to the bar, where they discuss Barb’s job opening in the city. Murray gets drunk and stumbles home. He runs across the Mayor packing up to leave Dunfield Cross for a job in the city. Murray storms off in disgust, and goes to sleep. The next day Murray sends letters to doctors. He goes home happy, but when he gets there Barb tells him she is taking the city job, and leaves. Murray, now alone, waits to hear back from a doctor, but gets no response. At an airport Paul Lewis, a plastic surgeon, is stopped for a random search. The security guard reveals himself to be the Mayor. Back at the village Murray tells everyone that a doctor is coming for one month. He lies and says that if the villagers can convince the doctor to stay, they will definitely get the service base, meaning jobs for everyone. They organize a town cleanup, trying to make it appealing for Paul, the doctor. Murray, Henry, and Simon tell the village they need to learn how to play Cricket because Paul is a big Cricket fan. Everyone helps clean up the town, and prepare for the Cricket game. The big day arrives. Murray, dressed in his best clothes, greets Paul at a dock. They get onto a smaller boat that will take them to Dunfield Cross. On the “Cricket pitch”, the villagers perform game-like choreography for Paul, who watches from the boat. Murray takes Paul through the now clean town, and drops him off at the house where he will be staying. Paul calls his fiancée while Murray, Henry, and the two elderly village women eavesdrop from a switchboard in the Church attic. Paul tells his fiancée Helen how unhappy he is, which prompts Murray and the others to try harder to make Dunfield Cross appealing. The next morning Paul listens to jazz and gets dressed. As he goes to leave he sees a line of 30+ villagers cued up for consultation. He takes care of the many different and strange varieties of illness and injury, and is exhausted by the end of the day. Murray calls a town meeting and tells everyone not to overwhelm Paul. Murray goes into the city to visit Barb, who seems happy at her new job. Then he goes back and calls Trip Anderson, the man in charge of the service base proposals. Murray tells Trip that he is the new mayor, and that they have a doctor. Trip says their chances of getting the base will look much better with a $100,000 personal bribe. Murray and Simon want Henry to authorize a bank loan for the bribe, but Henry refuses to do it. Later Murray talks to Kathleen, the young postmistress. Murray wants her to flirt with Paul to make Paul feel desired. Kathleen refuses to do it, reminding Murray that Paul is engaged. At the switchboard, the elderly women tell Murray that Paul never had a father. Murray takes Paul fishing and tells a lie about having a son Paul’s age who died 10 years ago. The two bond over fishing. Two weeks pass, and the deception is going well, with Paul becoming attached to the small town. However, the phone eavesdroppers hear that he is still very lonely. On the next fishing trip Murray tells Paul that Kathleen is in love with him. Paul is surprised, but pleased. Under the water Simon, in scuba gear, attaches a frozen salmon to Paul’s fishing hook. That night the town celebrates Paul’s first catch. The next day Murray, Henry, and Simon meet at the bank, where the $100,000 loan has been refused. Murray explodes at Henry, and leaves. Henry says he’ll try again. Paul becomes outraged at the lack of proper medical care in the village, and calls Helen, who doesn’t care. Worried, Paul calls his friend Jack, and tells him to keep an eye on Helen. Trip Anderson and two associates fly into Dunfield Cross to speak with Murray. They say that the service base needs 150 laborers minimum to keep it running, and the census says Dunfield Cross only has 125. Murray has organized a deception where the villagers, unseen by Trip, run from the bar to the church to show that there are enough people in the town. Paul unwittingly helps in the deception. Murray tells Trip the bribe is a done deal, and Trip leaves. Later Murray berates Henry for still not getting the loan, and Henry promises to go higher with his contacts. The town watches Cricket in the bar, taking reaction cues from Paul, who is glued to the TV. The guys get drunk, and Paul stumbles goes home. Paul drunk dials Helen and Murray listens as Paul leaves a message that implies he wants them to move to Dunfield Cross. Murray calls Barb and tells her they are getting the doctor. Barb is happy. Murray organizes a new deception to be certain Paul wants to stay. The town pretends there is another doctor who wants to sign with them, and this upsets Paul. Meanwhile Henry resigns from his job at the bank after he grants Murray the loan himself and brings him the $100,000 dollars in cash. That night the elderly phone eavesdroppers wake Murray up because Paul just discovered that Helen has been cheating on him with Jack for the past 3 years. Murray finds Paul drunk at the bar. Paul rants about dishonesty and how for the past three years his whole life has been a lie. He leaves, and Murray drinks away his guilt of deceiving Paul. Murray calls a town meeting, where he tells the town they have to make a choice between continuing to lie to Paul and telling him the truth. Paul interrupts without hearing anything, and tells everyone he would like to call Dunfield Cross his home. Murray tells him that another doctor has already filled the position. Stunned, Paul leaves to pack his things. The whole town is dejected and sad to see him go. Trip Anderson arrives, takes the bribe, and asks to see the doctor’s certificate. Murray struggles to come up with one. Before leaving Paul talks to Kathleen about her love for him. Kathleen furiously tells Paul that that is a lie, and that everyone has been lying to him. Paul storms back to the bar to find Murray, who has been unable to convince Trip that they have a resident doctor. Murray follows Paul out, and they confront each other, with everyone, including Trip, watching. Murray finally tells Paul the truth, and he agrees to stay on as the town doctor. Barb returns from the city, and Paul and Kathleen flirt, beginning a true romance. The town gets the service base, people get jobs, and everyone is happy. As in his father’s day, the whole town makes love as they once again celebrate life and happiness....more