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Film / Men with Brooms

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Describe Men With Brooms he-*smacked in the head with a curling stone*

A 2002 Romantic Comedy movie starring Paul Gross, Molly Parker, and Leslie Nielsen, and seemingly half of the cast of Due South. Chris Cutter, once a local Curling legend until he left town without explanation (not to mention leaving his fiancée at the altar), comes back home for his curling coach's funeral. His curling coach's main wish, according to his will, is for Cutter to bring the old team back together to try and win the Golden Broom, the Curling equivalent to The Stanley Cup, as well as for him to reconcile with his estranged (not to mention strange) dad — famed curling coach Gordon Cutter, played by Leslie Nielsen. Hilarity Ensues.

Followed in 2010 by a one-season TV show sequel of the same name.

This film contains examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Amy, although when the movie takes place, she is going to AA meetings.
  • Artistic License Law: Lampshaded and averted at the reading of Donald Foley's will. The lawyer admits that there really isn't any way his requests regarding the team and the stone could be considered legally binding; everybody goes along with it out of consideration for the deceased.
  • Brick Joke: The loan shark.
  • Calvinball: While Curling is a very real sport, the version shown in the movie evidently includes rules for such unlikely situations as the ashes of a dead man landing on the button.
  • Canada, Eh?: Parts of this movie play like a love letter to producer-and-star Paul Gross's home country.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Lennox, who even bothered to lampshade it.
    Lennox: Hey man, even if I wanted to, I've got principles. She has to be conscious, to begin with...
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gordon Cutter, Strombeck to a lesser degree.
  • Curse Cut Short: "Let me tell you about vibrators—" *WHANG*
  • Cryptic Conversation: Neil's wife appears to be a fan of this. Lampshaded very flatly by Neil every time it happens.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Neil, notably, only when talking to his wife.
  • The Ditz: Lennox's "rent-a-girlfriend", and a male example in the form of Strombeck.
  • The Dutiful Daughter: Amy helped her father recover the Magellan Stones while her sister Julie went to school and eventually became an astronaut.
  • Eagle Land: A mix of both types with Alexander "The Juggernaut" Yount, whose team wears shiny jumpsuits, enters the stadium to rock music and pyrotechnics, and has cheerleaders. Though he's very competitive and takes himself way too seriously, he also asks the officials to let Gordon redo a botched shot, and then congratulates him on a good game.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lennox. Admittedly low standards, but he has them.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: The movie opens with a bagpipe tune that ends up being a funeral dirge.
  • Expy: The American Space Agency, filling in for NASA.
  • First Girl Wins: Averted in both cases where it comes up, though in neither case did it seem like the First Girl was particularly trying.note 
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": A less-than thirty second scene that crams about five or ten different mishaps in while introducing Neil Bucyk. What should be a straightforward cremation goes horribly (and hilariously) awry when:
    • The conveyer belt's motor shorts out,
    • causing the recording of Amazing Freaking Grace to play in reverse,
    • along with causing the coffin to start moving away from the oven and towards the end of the belt.
    • They try to keep the coffin from falling off the end, only for it to tip over onto its end, the lid popping open leading to
    • Coach Foley's body almost falling out,
    • only to be caught by Neil grabbing the Coach by the face and throwing him back in the coffin,
    • only for the belt to start moving the right direction,
    • Neil's coat to get caught in the lid of the coffin when it slams shut,
    • Dragging him onto the conveyer belt with the casket and being dragged towards the oven, all while the grieving family sits and watches, horrified. All of this in a scene that again, lasts less than 30 seconds.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: a variation: Both sisters are The Smart Sister; one happens to be the Prodigal Daughter (went to college, joined The American Space Agency, became an astronaut) while the other is The Dutiful Daughter, who stayed home with the family and cared for their father. Also, both are romantic interests for Chris Cutter.
  • Graceful Loser: The Juggernaut, even lampshaded in passing as part of a Brick Joke moments later.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Joanne, the "Rent-A-Girlfriend", though Lennox never seems to actually do the things that one traditionally does with a prostitute, so she could just be the type of escort where sex isn't part of the deal.
  • Karma Houdini: Linda Bucyk, who spends much of the movie cheating on her husband. Though it is strongly indicated at the end of the film that he's leaving her, it has less to do with the affair and more to do with her general abusiveness (and his own developing relationship with Joanne).
  • Les Yay: Discussed by Amy when Julie was trying to have a heart-to-heart with her about Chris. Julie asks Amy why everything has to be a joke with her.
  • Literal-Minded: When Cutter is hesitant to reform the curling team.
    Lennox: So I guess the uh... burning question is, are you gonna pick up that stone?
    Lennox: I meant metaphorically.
  • Love Triangle: Chris, Julie, and Amy are in a love triangle, with Chris being the focus. Julie points out to Amy that, strictly speaking, there is no triangle since Chris left her years previously and she's grown to pretty much hate him despite their one-night-stand hookup.
  • MacGuffin: The Magellan Stones, having been dumped into the lake by Chris Cutter before he skipped town in the Back Story, are several types:
    • Mineral MacGuffin: Well, they are basically polished stones with handles attached.
    • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Donald Foley dies immediately after retrieving the last of the stones. His will states that his ashes are to be placed in the last Magellan Stone, his old curling team reformed, and for them to take the stones and make another attempt to win the Golden Broom.
  • Membership Token: The matching beaver tattoos on all four guys and Amy.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: See above. Paul Gross is not the one on the left.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When his wife asks him, for the second or third time, to pass her the beets during dinner, Neil slides it to her like a curling stone, bouncing it off several other dishes on the way, much to the amusement of his kids and less so to his wife.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The first team they play against, made up of octogenarians.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Neil Bucyk has one, while being dragged down a conveyor belt towards a cremation fire. Subverted in that he escapes unscathed, some time after the cut to the next scene.
    • Neil in general seems obsessed with death, possibly a mix of his line of work (mortician) and his less-than-warm marriage.
  • Off the Wagon: Amy After seeing the object of her affections and her sister hook up.
    • Given her kid's nonchalant and blunt reaction to his mom's condition, it's implied that this happens to her fairly often. But then, he could also have been familiar with her being drunk from before she started going to AA meetings.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Manitoba curler Jeff Stoughton makes an appearance, demonstrating his trademark "Spin-O-Rama" delivery.
  • Regional Riff: Scottish bagpipes for Canada. Appropriate, since the movie centers around a sport that originated in Scotland.
  • Running Gag: Lennox's loan shark and his constant run-ins with the last of the Magellan Stones.
    • Beavers.
    • Lennox never getting his "rent a girlfriend"'s name right.
    • JESUS!
  • Serious Business: Curling.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Strombeck and his wife dismiss Lennox as a possible sperm donor out of hand because he's too... Lennox.
  • The Stoner: Gordon Cutter
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Foley's posthumous message to his team.
  • Tap on the Head: Lennox's loan shark. Several times throughout the movie, in fact. With a curling stone. Don't worry though, he never seems to suffer from it, because he's Made of Iron. And because it's funny.
    • Although, he is sporting one hell of a gash at the end on the movie...
  • Thanatos Gambit: Pretty much the entire plot of the film is the result of Donald Foley guilt-tripping his old curling team into reuniting after he dies.
  • There Was a Door: Lennox, followed by his angry loan-shark, enters Cutter's motel room directly through the wall, much to Cutter's confusion.
  • Training from Hell: Gordon Cutter has to get the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits into shape somehow.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Amy, a recovering alcoholic, goes to AA meetings at least once in the film. This mostly gives her a chance to monologue about her problems in a context where it makes sense to do so.
  • Tsundere: Julie, Type A. It is implied that this is Chris's fault.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Amy Until the end of the film.
  • Verbal Tic: JESUS!
  • Video Will: To justify Donald Foley giving the opening narration and introducing the characters.
  • Visual Pun: Invoked by Lennox while hanging out with the rest of the team, by means of sharing his theory of why Chris Cutter left town without explanation. He poured some liquor from his flask onto a curling stone, set the stone sliding across the ice, and lit the liquor on fire, all to indicate that Chris had "burned" a stone in the previous Golden Broom (touching it after releasing it, considered cheating in the sport of Curling).
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Played for Laughs, Amy pukes down Chris's back. The look on his face is hilarious.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The herd (flock? pack?) of Beavers that block the road after the guys listen to their coach's recorded message in the car.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Years before, Chris Cutter accidentally "burned" a stone, touching it with his foot after releasing it, during a qualifying match to get his team into the finals for the Golden Broom. Instead of reporting it to the ref like he should have, he kept quiet. Unwilling to admit to what he had done (disgracing the team) or playing through the finals that he didn't deserve to be in, he dumped the stones in the lake and skipped town, incidentally leaving his fiancée, Julie, as well as his team, nobody knowing just what had possessed him to do that.
  • Word Salad Philosophy: When the team is drunkenly rambling along about Mozart and Einstein, while Amy, the one sober person present, just quietly sits back listening with an amused look on her face.
  • Worthy Adversary: Chris makes an amazing, almost impossible shot which would put his team in position to win, but his teammate accidentally brushed the stone with his foot after releasing it, meaning the entire shot is invalid... as long as he reports it. He does, and Yount tells the referee to set the stones up the way they were before and let Chris try again.