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Men With Brooms
Dir. Paul Gross (2002)
Part of the appeal of Hulu is that it's starting to function like the early days of cable television (a prime example: the USA Network's show "USA Up All Night"), providing a home to second-run films that are proudly B-level or Z-level low-budget camp. The type of film that would be weirdly appealing as you flip through the television stations, even though you haven't heard of it.
Men With Brooms has that feel. It's not a technically good film, but between its likable cast (Paul Gross, Molly Parker, and Leslie Nielsen) and refreshing topic—the absurd, beer-swilling and ice skating Olympic level Canadian sport of curling—it's certainly a film made for a lazy, aimless Sunday. It is also Canadian to the point that, during a crucial moment, Canadian songstress Kathleen Edwards' poignant "Hockey Skates" comes on the soundtrack, with its chorus of "I don't even have...hockey skates."
The film was a bit of a passion project for the cult Canadian actor Gross, a rakish charmer—Bruce Campbell-ish—who most recently played the devil on ABC's sadly killed Eastwick; his cult stems from his role as a mountie on Paul Haggis' 90s show Due South. Gross served as the co-writer/director/star, and the film follows his character, Chris Cutter, a disgraced former curling star in need of redemption. Cutter left his small Ontario town after failing to win the Golden Broom (the "Stanley Cup" of curling) ten years earlier. When he returns, he assembles a rag-tag team with his long-lost dad (Nielsen) as the coach. The ever-effortless Parker shows up as a local girl with a drinking problem.
The film may be worth your time if you're a big fan of Gross, or curious about intrinsically hilarious Canadian sports. It is a Canadian good time—quite possibly the only curling film in existence—complete with a The Tragically Hip cameo. (That said, Paul Rudd should remake this into something amazing.) Just in time for Vancouver 2010!
Watch the film now for free on Hulu: