The Great Seduction (2023)

The Great Seduction (2023)


It’s riddled with holes, but The Great Seduction's overflowing charms ultimately win you over



Comedy, Romance
Eligio Meléndez, Guillermo Villegas, Héctor Jiménez
94 min


You have to love the movie for trading football helmets for watermelon hats, among other quirky hijinks.

What it's about

In order to attract more business in the remote fishing town of Santa Maria, German (Guillermo Villegas) and the other locals trick city doctor Mateo (Pierre Louis) into staying on the island for good.

The take

In the Great Seduction, locals of a small town trick a bigshot doctor into thinking that despite the place’s insufficiencies, it’s still worth settling into. They pretend to love American football because it’s his favorite sport. They leave paper bills to make him think he’s lucky. They eavesdrop on his calls to learn what dish he’d like for the day. But as the schemes escalate from amusing to immoral, the audience along with German are forced to wonder: does the end justify the means? Unfortunately, the film never answers its own ethical dilemma, nor does it offer meaningful insights or fresh perspectives about it. There’s also the lesser but equally distracting problem of Mateo’s medical background serving very little purpose in the film. The townspeople bend over backward to secure Mateo not because he’s a doctor who could literally save lives, but because the company they’re pitching to requires a doctor to be present for legal purposes. The film doesn’t always make sense, although when it does, it absolutely shines. It’s offbeat and jubilant, with a lot of charm to spare. It’s the type of film whose omissions you’d easily forgive because of how often it’ll make you smile. 

What stands out

The ingenious tricks they carry out to win the hearts of outsiders are adorable and hilarious, and easily the best parts of this movie. I won’t go into details because I’ve already said enough about them above, but know that they are every bit as colorful and creative and funny as those outlandish pranks that were abundant in old-timey cartoons.

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