Run time: 99 mins
In Theaters: Friday 18th July 2003
Distributed by: Lions Gate Films
Production compaines: BIG Pictures, Pope Productions
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 5
IMDB: 6.5 / 10
Director: Sturla Gunnarsson
Screenwriter: Edward Riche
The story is about as dark as they come. A Newfoundland restaurateur named Dave (William Hurt) finds his business is failing, so he and neighbor Alphonse (Andy Jones) decide to fake the sighting of a very rare bird, thus drawing hordes of birdwatchers to the area... in turn, drumming up business for the restaurant.
This works well for a while, until birdwatchers start slipping to their deaths from the rocks, suited men start snooping around, Dave gets involved with his right-hand gal (Molly Parker), and there's those giant bags of cocaine, too. When Rare Birds gets stuck in Dave's nascent coke habit and Alphonse's amateur submarine-building obsession, sure, it gets a little silly for its own good. But who hasn't thought of inventing something fanciful (bomb threat to get you out of work, etc. etc.) to help their career or leisure time? It's simple, but it always bites you back.
Rare Birds doesn't take itself seriously but for the most part it knows the story it's trying to tell, and it's really quite funny. It's hard not to like, even if it's exceptionally morbid. And Hurt is especially hilarious, which is somewhat uncommon of late in his career.