Men With Brooms  (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A strange thing happened on the way to a funny movie.

Men With Brooms starts off as a marvelous parody of sports movies where the sincere losers re-unite and, playing with athletic purity and love of the game, triumph over all the slick hot-shots who dominate the sport. You know, the whole Rocky Balboa, Karate Kid, Bull Durham, The Natural, Mystery Alaska kind of thing. From the beginning, it promised to do for curling what Blow Dry did for styling.

Then, somewhere about 20 minutes into the movie, the filmmakers forgot where they were going with the comedy, and the film actually became a serious Rocky Balboa film with a romantic sub-plot.

When the film was being funny it was not bad at all, and even the serious parts are performed pretty well by some professionals like sexy-voiced Molly Parker. But there isn't much reason why I want to watch an uplifting movie about the triumph of the curling underdogs.

It includes several foolish sub-plots about everything from a romantic triangle to astronauts to a 400 pound man trying to collect a debt from one of the team members.

And it includes every single sports movie cliché, including the miracle finish, the prodigal son, the dead coach whose spirit lifts the team, the hard-eyed excessively professionalized opponent, and the team member who quits but shows up for the big game ... er ... match - or whatever they call a curling competition.


there is no female nudity, except for a partial look at Jane Spidell's buns

all four of the male leads (Paul Gross, Jed Rees, Peter Outerbridge, James Allodi) showed their butts in an extended skinny-dipping scene

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1

On the other hand, I have to say that it is a sweet, cute, harmless, watchable film about nice people. The director laid in some very creative visual compositions to portray the small town where they lived, and he actually managed to find the grace and poetry in curling. And you have to like any film which claims that if Albert Einstein had been born at another time, he could have been as important as Buddha or Bill Shatner. It ended up being the Field of Dreams of curling. I just wish it had held the edge it promised in the first few minutes.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. 3/5, Apollo 70/100, Film Threat 3/5, Toronto Star 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: budget $7.5 million, USA gross $4 million, Canadian opening weekend - one million Canadian dollars


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, C- as an inspirational sports film, C- as a comedy. Based on my limited experience, this is probably the Citizen Kane of curling movies. It was disappointing as a comedy, but I ended up charmed by it, almost against my will.

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