[[caption-width-right:300: Film poster depicting Mac, left, and Happer, right.]]

A rather charming film directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Creator/PeterCapaldi (in his film debut) and Creator/BurtLancaster. This thoughtful comedy follows an American oil company executive, "Mac" [=MacIntyre=] (Riegert), who is sent to negotiate with the local inhabitants of the [[UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} Scottish]] town of Ferness because their home lies on prime coastline for new petroleum and chemical processing facilities.
!!This film provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: At the Céilidh Danny is pursued - rather aggressively - by a female punk. He finds her abhorrent mainly because she's not Marina.
* AirplaneArms: Danny at one point, combined with a truly GirlyRun (making this the film debut of both Creator/PeterCapaldi and the GirlyRun of Peter Capaldi, both seen in [[Series/TheThickOfIt other]] [[Series/DoctorWho acclaimed works]] for decades to come).
* AllMenArePerverts: Danny is constantly thinking about sex. Either for himself, or wondering about the sex lives of other characters.
--> '''Danny:''' What are you thinking about?\\
'''Mac:''' Girls. Naked girls. In fish tanks.[[note]]This after just seeing Marina in a one piece swimsuit diving into the pool at the Institute.[[/note]]\\
'''Danny:''' Me too.
* AndStarring: "And Burt Lancaster." In spite of the poster's picture he's not the main character, but he is the biggest name and his role is one of the most important to the plot.
* AngryMob: When the townsfolk learn that Ben won't sell his land, which is absolutely crucial to their fortunes being seen through, they organize this. Luckily, as they arrive on the beach Happer arrives via helicopter, an event which defuses the tension.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: In-universe example: everyone is excited to listen to Victor sing "Lonesome Cowboy".
* BilingualBonus: Russian speakers will chuckle at Victor and his lady's argument, culminating in Victor dismissing her by saying in English, "Silly bitch."
* BittersweetEnding: Everyone gets what they want [[spoiler: except Mac, who deeply regrets having to leave the idyllic town of Ferness. The film ends with him calling the town, so maybe he at least gets to maintain a friendly correspondence with the folks who live there]].
%% * BunnyEarsLawyer: Felix Happer.
* CaptainObvious: "You speak languages?"
* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: The trenchcoat itself, coupled with the fact that Danny has been sent to discreetly meet Mac at the airport and has the sign for Knox Industries half-hidden in the coat. He tries to unobtrusively shove the sign into everyone's faces as they disembark from the plane. He comes off looking like a really conspicuous, inept spy... or a flasher.
* CoolCar: Mac carries a picture of his Porsche 930.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The poster text has a whopper. [[spoiler: In the end, everyone listed wins. The only character who doesn't get what he wants, [=McIntyre=], isn't mentioned]]. Also, Burt Lancaster's role is secondary (though crucial to the plot), whereas he is featured most prominently on the poster.
* CriticalPsychoanalysisFailure: The odd subplot and interplay between Happer and his psychologist Moritz, who veers into StalkerWithACrush territory.
* CuteClumsyGirl: A rare male example in Danny, though he's not so much clumsy as awkward to the point of cuteness.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the typical "big business vs. small town" plot. The townspeople are quite happy to accept Knox Industries' offer to buy them off so they can build a refinery on the site of the village.
* EccentricMillionaire: Felix Happer again, CEO of Knox Industries. He's fascinated by astronomy and especially comets as they relate to people's fortunes, and is going through a personal therapy program that involves him being constantly insulted by his therapist.
* EccentricTownsfolk: Pretty much everyone in Furness.
* FauxReigner:
** Mac, unintentionally. He gets the assigment because the management think he's Scottish. Actually, his parents were Hungarian immigrants who took the name [=MacIntyre=] because they thought it sounded more American.
** The Reverend Murdo [=McPherson=] turns out to be an African who "came here as a student and never got away."
* ForeignQueasine: It's an utterly usual dish, but not from Mac's perspective. [[spoiler: "You don't eat things with names!"]]
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: The entire population of the town sneaks out of the church behind Mac and Danny. Danny notices and does some hilarious [[DoubleTake double takes]].
* GainaxEnding: Marina may be a mermaid, Ben may be [[spoiler: descended from the original owners of the oil company that wants to build over his beach]], and the last shots of the film are a transition from the busy energy of Houston to a shot of the small town's only phone ringing forlornly.
* GenreBusting: It successfully keeps oscillating between comedy and drama... and then there's Marina's webbed toes.
* GetOut: Happer to Moritz. Constantly.
* GirlyRun: Danny. The scene where he and Mac skip stones on the beach reveals that he's just generally a complete spaz.
* AGodAmI: Norman and his rambling about "unfreezing the Arctic Circle" and diverting the Gulf Stream. Not taken too seriously.
* GoingNative: Mac arrives in Ferness in a business suit and tie. As the film progresses, Mac goes more and more casual; when Happer arrives, he's wearing a sweater and is unshaved.
* HiddenDepths: Everyone in town, even the most seemingly one-dimensional. The punk girl, for instance, admits she's chasing Danny even though he's obviously not right for her because he's someone ''different'' from the boys in Ferness. One of the townspeople begins to sob that despite being on the verge of being filthy rich, it hasn't made him feel any different.
* HotScientist: Marina, and while Mac only {{Male Gaze}}s her once, Danny becomes enamored with her, at one point kissing her (webbed) feet.
* IAteWhat: Mac and Danny are dismayed to learn they're currently eating the rabbit they'd hoped to nurse back to health.
* LonersAreFreaks: {{Deconstruction}}. Mac is constantly isolated in the beginning of the film - for example, he communicates with his coworker at the office over the phone, despite being in the same floor divided by a glass pane. However, Mac doesn't see anything wrong with his life - he prefers Telex to face-to-face interaction - but after spending time in Ferness, he realizes his life is quite empty and starved. [[spoiler: Unfortunately for him, he returns to that lonely life, with only photos and sea shells left from his trip. He even calls the town after he returns home. Whether he'll at least strive to get more out of life is anyone's guess.]]
* LookBothWays: Every time he leaves a building, Mac is almost run down by a guy on a dirt bike. Keep in mind the town has maybe two streets. Mac becomes [[GenreSavvy aware]] of this and at one point holds Danny back a few seconds ''before'' the dirt bike rides past. According to this documentary, it was not only a RunningGag, but also basically TruthInTelevision.
* MagicRealism: Furness is a classic quirky setting: Full of EccentricTownsfolk, and a place not far off from a military bombing range yet full of natural beauty from the land to the sea to the sky. Moreover, it seems to attract other unusual people: Marina may well be a case of OurMermaidsAreDifferent, and EccentricMillionaire Happer finds a soulmate in Ben the beachcomber, which makes some poetic sense given that [[spoiler: Ben ''Knox'' may be a direct descendant of the founders of Knox Industries]]. It ''could'' be a ContrivedCoincidence, but...
* MeaningfulName: Marina and Stella. Marina is obvious (the sea), but since Danny suggests to Happer a "Sea and Sky Institute", Stella (star) is more meaningful.
* NotSoDifferent:
** Mac, a high-flying oil executive from Houston, and Gordon, a mayor/hotelier/cab driver from Ferness, Scotland. They're both businessmen and at the core want the same thing out of life, the main difference between the two being that Gordon has actually achieved it.
--->'''Mac:''' I'd make a terrific Gordon, Gordon.
** Happer, multibillionaire Texas oil company owner and Ben Knox, beachcomber - they become best friends.
* {{Omniglot}}: Danny, who professes a "facility with languages" and provides Mac with a long list, though Gàidhlig isn't one of them. Mac thinks they're [[GratuitousForeignLanguage all gratuitous]] and cuts him short at one point when Danny starts to say "no" in every one that comes to mind.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: It's hinted that Marina is actually a mermaid. She has webbed toes on land and she reveals she ''swims'' from Wales to Scotland on a regular basis. When she swims, her legs look like a fish's tail. In the end, Danny chases her into the water with good news, an allusion to mermaids luring men into the sea.
* OvertOperative: Danny wears a ConspicuousTrenchcoat at the airport, making his intentions obvious.
* PopStarComposer: [[Music/DireStraits Mark Knopfler]] is the composer.
* RealEstateScam: Knox Industries and their plan to buy out the town. Subverted in that both Knox and the townspeople are more than happy to do the deal. As Victor states, "You can't eat scenery." Most of the movie is Gordon and Mac haggling over just how ''much'' the townspeople are to be paid.
* SceneryPorn: Ferness is ''green''. As Happer says, "I could grow to love this place."
* SocietyMarchesOn: Americans in UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's America were probably shocked and amused at Soviet citizen Victor's capitalistic views ("I'm a cash man, Gordon..."). From a modern perspective, we now know Soviet citizens were constantly looking for the extra buck.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Mac obviously feels out of place when he returns to his modern, Houston apartment.
* TastesLikeFriendship: Mac shares a chocolate bar with Danny when they're stranded in their car overnight.
* {{Troll}}: Ben Knox may be one, judging by the head game he plays with Mac: offering to sell the beach for 1 US dollar for every grain of sand he can hold in his hand. When Mac starts offering buckets of sand, he rescinds his one-time offer. (On top of that, the price could have been $10,000 or lower had Mac just taken the original offer!)
* ValuesDissonance:
** Mac adopts a rabbit after Danny hits it with a car. He keeps it in his hotel room -- until the manager finds it and makes it into a delicious supper, leaving Mac aghast, in an in-universe invocation of this trope.
** The Ferness locals are astonished Mac only has ''one'' job.