In this Canadian comedy, the tiny harbor of Tickle Head finds itself in the running to get a new factory, but only if they have a full time resident doctor. Enter a flashy plastic surgeon that finds himself stranded in Tickle Head for a month. The harbor now has thirty days to convince the doctor that Tickle Head is the only place he'll ever be happy. Ludicrous comic antics ensue. And there are certainly laughs. Brendon Gleeson and Gordon Pinset, as a pair of harbor residents, make darn sure of that. Taylor Kitsch is satisfactorily callow as the doctor, at least during the comedy bits. But the script attempts a poorly timed and ill advised shift into drama in the third act and it just doesn't work and it utterly sinks Kitsch. If the film is a cartoon, then it's funny; if these are real people, then it's frankly gleefully and cruelly misanthropic. The film tries to have it both ways, but it can't. For example, there's a character with a cocaine addiction; the film ultimately resolves this plotline by, get this now, having the addicted character assure everyone that he has the addiction "under control." Seriously. Because addicts are always both honest and accurate about their own addictions. And the climax of the film is a whiplash turn in about twenty different ways. One character makes a decision that just comes right out of the frigging air, just one of the most unmotivated decisions I've ever seen in a movie. And a central moral issue gets resolved via the time tested handwave of, "Well, I guess it'll be okay after all." But there are some laughs. And I mean real laughs. I mean, real hilarious stuff. I laughed out loud a lot in the first hour. If that's all you're after, or if you just like watching the crusty Gleeson work, which is definitely a pleasure, then you'll find a lot to like here. But the last third starts trying to play things seriously, which is pretty frustrating, mainly because the first two-thirds have been so genuinely funny and pointedly not serious. The funny stuff is too good for me to rank it too low though. I give it Above Average. Whatever. 2 1/2 stars.
Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.