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Men with Brooms

(Quatre gars et un balai)

Year: 2002
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 102 min
Director: Paul Gross
Producer: Robert Lantos
Writer: John Krizanc, Paul Gross, Paul Quarrington
Cinematographer: Thom Best
Editor: Susan Maggi
Sound: Sylvain Arseneault
Music: Paul Gross, Jack Lenz
Cast: Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Leslie Nielsen, Jed Rees, Polly Shannon, Michelle Nolden, Paul Gross, Jim Allodi
Production Company: Serendipity Point Films, Whizbang Films Inc.

Having abruptly left his hometown and abandoned the members of his curling rink on the eve of the championship tournament years earlier, Chris Cutter (Paul Gross) returns for the funeral of his beloved but eccentric curling coach, who requests in his will that Cutter and his teammates reunite to compete for the coveted Golden Broom. Cutter stays in town to fulfill the request and to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend Julie (Michelle Nolden), her alcoholic sister Amy (Molly Parker) – who is hopelessly in love with him – and his curmudgeonly father Gordon (Leslie Nielsen). Meanwhile, scam-artist James (Peter Outerbridge) is on the run from a drug deal gone bad, nice guy Eddie (Jed Rees) is desperately trying to conceive a child with his wife, and mortician Neil (Jim Allodi) grows closer to James’s newest girl Joanne (Polly Shannon).

The first film produced under Telefilm Canada’s mandate aimed at procuring five per cent of the domestic box office through the production of commercial movies, Men with Brooms enjoyed a massive marketing push orchestrated by producer Robert Lantos. The film opened on an unprecedented 213 screens in Canada, plus 27 in the United States, and grossed a very respectable $4.2 million domestically. Response from critics was split; some felt the film was rollicking good fun, while others were dismayed by the low-brow humour and persistent use of Canadian clichés.

The directing debut of actor and writer Paul Gross, Men with Brooms received Genie Award nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Lead Actress (Molly Parker).

With music by The Tragically Hip.

By: Andrew McIntosh