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Men with Brooms Reviews

This Canadian feel-good comedy, which combines slapstick and uplift, could be dubbed "The Fool Monty." Four old friends reunite at the funeral of their former curling coach; curling, for those unfamiliar with the ancient sport, is a winter pass time involving a rock propelled forward by sweeping of the ice on which it rests. Their grief is tempered somewhat by the coach's bittersweet last request that they re-team and win a bonspiel (curling tournament) in his honor. Before they can win the Golden Broom, they must both brush up their skills and address the emotional problems that held them back in the past. Chris Cutter (Paul Gross) must swallow his pride and ask advice from his estranged dad, Coach Gordon Cutter (Leslie Nielsen), as well as sort out his feelings for ex-girlfriend Julie (Michelle Nolden) and her sister, Amy (Molly Parker). Ne'er-do-well James Lennox (Peter Outerbridge) owes money to a curling enthusiast named Stuckmore (George Buza), who wants to get paid before Lennox starts his practice sessions. Pressured by his social-climbing wife to focus on business, Neil Bucyk (James Allodi) can't find the gumption to give his all to his hobby. Rounding out the foursome is married man Eddie Strombeck (Jed Rees), whose concentration is split between the joy of skating and the desire to conceive a child. As they brush up their sweeping techniques, the rag-tag amateurs must challenge a team of unbeaten champions led by Alexander the Juggernaut (Greg Bryk). Regardless of whether they win or lose the competition, can the quartet claim victory in their individual personal arenas? While curling enthusiasts may be delighted to see their little-known sport featured in a film, actor-director Paul Gross never manages to make it seem interesting to newcomers. The novice director/co-writer encourages his fellow cast members to mug mightily, but can't juice up this hand-me-down scenario about underdogs having their day.