Okay, I confess that I have a thing for Paul Gross. Due South was brilliant – great idea, great writing, subtle shifts between drama and comedy (see the episode “A Hawk and a Handsaw”) and wonderful performances from some of Canada’s best – Callum Keith Rennie, Gordon Pinsent, Wendy Crewson, Brent Carver, Colm Feore come to mind. And how about Getting Married in Buffalo Jump and Slings and Arrows and Gross’ performance as Hamlet at the Stratford Festival? And then, more recently, there were all those Genie Awards for his writing, producing and acting in Passchendaele. He’s also a musician. And not too hurtin’ in the looks department, either.
So when the film Men With Brooms came out in 2002, I was in heaven. Paul Gross and curling. Kind of silly curling, kind of rough-around-the-edges Paul Gross, but still a combination of two acquired tastes, nicely melted into a bad-boy-makes-good sports film including the improbable (really? throw it so hard that he smashes the rocks – twice?) and the impressive (familiar faces of Canadian curlers like The Curling News’ George Karrys and spinerama ace Jeff Stoughton). Ok, maybe a bit over the top.
Who cares, said I. Paul Gross and curling. Does it get any better?
Now CBC is actually going ahead with a sitcom based on the film, including Gross in the show, although not as the central character. But that’s okay. He got the stone sliding, so to speak, and now other creative types, including producer/writer Paul Mather can sweep it along – hopefully into a something with the charm of Corner Gas or Little Mosque on the Prairie. (Interesting but not terribly important fact: Both shows did curling episodes: “Hurry Hard” and “Jihad on Ice”.)
Want to know more about the TV version of Men With Brooms? Check The Curling News for all the deets.