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:: Seducing Doctor Lewis (Le grande seduction)

This is a charming story set in Sainte-Marie la Mauderne, a remote fishing village in Canada. It is accessible only by boat in northern Quebec and the community struggles after its fishery closes down. Week after week, the out-of-work men line up for their welfare cheques and it prompts the mayor to move away in shame. Hard time indeed for the 120 residents. Even the bank manager has no employees because there is no economy.

A change can occur. A company is considering building a factory there, but it won’t be done unless the town has a resident doctor. As luck would have it, and through a series of unlikely events, a young plastic surgeon, Christopher Lewis (David Boutin), moves to the village for a month’s stay. Spokesman for the residents is Germain Lesage (Raymond Bouchard). He must go to extreme lengths to persuade Dr Lewis to stay full-time in order that the factory gets built. The schemes undertaken are eccentric and humorous, as they are seemingly effective. The residents set him up as comfortably as possible; then tap his phone, add his favourite dish to the local restaurant’s menu, and pretend to follow his favourite sport.

Some complications occur when the numbers change and the factory representative has to be convinced that double the population have to be sustained in the future. Director Jean-Francois Pouliot fashions an amusing feel-good story that is propelled by idiosyncratic characters. The movie is well served by the subtitles and it is well acted. The characters are unique and the fact that the population has just one pretty female makes for an interesting scenario with the handsome doctor.

“Seducing Doctor Lewis” is a pleasant and charming film that makes you feel for the plight of the villagers and the story has a delightful touch of bittersweet working class morality and with good humour.