Men With Brooms

The majestic sport of curling (as its participants like to think of it) is hundreds of years old, but most people still don't care a whit about it. Men With Brooms, a conventional sports movie with curling at its center, will do nothing to change the minds of its supporters or detractors. This is a distinctly Canadian movie, full of Canadian stars, references, and humor, and it adds a little quirky flavor to the proceedings, but the story is still so typical that it all seems familiar. Men With Brooms is the same sports movie about underdogs as any other movie made in the last few decades. There is no doubt as to where this is going at any time, the only new thing is that instead of football, baseball, or basketball, the sport is curling.

Curling is the only thing on the minds of the small town on Long Bay. Except for a team of curlers, who disbanded nearly a decade ago. The dying wish of their coach was that they get back together and try to win the Golden Broom. All four members haven't curled since, and they are all hesitant about even stepping foot again on the ice. In typical fashion, each person has some problem or issue in his/her life, and golly gee, friendship, teamwork, and love will overcome all of that. Chris Cutter (Paul Gross, Paint Cans, Whale Music) was the team captain. He left the sport because of his conscience; he failed to call out a bad shot. He also left astronaut Julie (Michelle Nolden, Century Hotel) at the altar. Julie's alcoholic single mother sister Amy (Molly Parker, The Center of the World, Waking the Dead) has a thing for Chris. The other team members include Neil (James Allodi, Glitter, The Five Senses), whose in a loveless marriage, James (Peter Outerbridge, Mission to Mars, Chasing Cain), a drifter who brought along an escort named Joanne (Polly Shannon, Harvard Man, The Girl Next Door) and Eddie (James Strombeck, Galaxy Quest, Dudley Do-Right), trying hard to get his wife pregnant. The only person capable of coaching them also happens to be Chris' estranged father, Gordon (Leslie Nielsen, Kevin of the North, 2001: A Space Travesty). So all these people with problems come together, and guess what - the thrill of teamwork and victory brings to them a sense of renewal.

Men With Brooms has an immediate handicap to it; most people are not as familiar with the sport as they would be with other sports. The nice thing is that writer/director Gross and co-writers John Krizanc (Dieppe) and Paul Quarrington (Camilla, Perfectly Normal) seamlessly work in a decently thorough explanation of how to curl, enough so that they is little question on what these guys in the film are doing. The curling scenes themselves are nothing to rave about; they just are. What begins to get annoying is the way that Gross brings everything together in the end. There is a lot of extraneous backstory to each character, and Gross feels that each issue must be resolved for an ending that becomes overly sugary. It is nice to see Nielsen again, and even better not to see him in some stupid parody. The acting is genteel across the board, and the characters are likable, if not a little bland. The real discovery (if anybody in America even sees this movie) is Gross. He looks hunky. He can act well. He should be a bigger star.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated R for language, sexuality, and some drug use.

Back to Movies