Your enjoyment of The Grand Seduction is entirely dependent on having a healthy suspension of disbelief and a broad tolerance for the rom-com formula – if you’re in possession of both those qualities, then you’ll likely have a good time with the film.
Starring Brendan Gleeson as the mayor of a sparsely populated Canadian harbour by the name of Tickel Cove and Taylor Kitsch as the handsome young doctor the Cove’s residents are deviously trying to win over, The Grand Seduction hits every rom-com beat you’d expect – pairing its deception with lightweight humour and an inevitable third act revelation. That aforementioned suspension of disbelief is necessary to buy Kitsch as the world’s-least-convincing-cricket-fanatic and that he somehow became a successful doctor while being unable to see through blatant subterfuge.
If you can accept all this, the film succeeds thanks the considerable charms of its stars and the gorgeous pastoral scenery of its idyllic setting. In fact, not thinking too hard about the intricacies of the plot is required – reflect upon the film, and you start to wonder about an amiable comedy that’s pro-bribery, pro-wire-taps and argues that full-time work is great primarily because “you feel tired at the end of the day.”