My Internship in Canada is far too woolly

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      Starring Patrick Huard. Rated PG.

      So, they really do make films like this anymore. Returning from his Hollywood near-miss with The Good Lie, Quebec’s Philippe Falardeau has fashioned a distinctly old-fashioned political farce as cozy as a big woolly sweater, and about as desirable, depending on your fashion sense. In this version of Canada, an independent MP in northern Quebec, Steve Guibord (Starbuck’s Patrick Huard), finds himself with the deciding vote when the PM—Paul Doucet, in a merry, all-too-forgiving riff on Stephen Harper—pushes for war against a deadlocked Parliament. (A running joke about an absent MP incapacitated by her boob job might give you an idea of the gummy level of satire on offer here.)

      Fortunately for our morally weak-kneed hero, busy trying to settle disputes between loggers and an Algonquin band, not to mention the divisions at home between his hawkish wife (Suzanne Clément) and peacenik daughter (Clémence Dufresne-Deslières), along comes that intern, Souverain, played by appealing newcomer Irdens Exantus. The joke is that Souverain’s idealism—he arrives from Haiti clutching a copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract—will provide Guibord with his salvation.

      The belief in good government is adorable, not to mention as blisteringly contemporary as the film’s “colourful” take on Haitians or its hoary old gags about people who stutter. That Guibord is also a former hockey player indicates the level of overexertion here, or possibly Falardeau’s relief at being home again. It’s a warm, fitfully amusing picture—politicians are really just bumbling nice guys who will ultimately yield to their conscience, right?—but some might prefer to weather the cold.