Strange Brew
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The best Canadian-themed movies for a rainy day at the cottage

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Oh, Canada: home to moose, maple trees, Mounties and, yes, movies—some made by Canadians, some merely featuring our picturesque country as a setting. If there’s a rainy day that’s keeping you inside and unable to enjoy our great country for yourself, why not check out one of these Canadian (and Canadian-esque) classics

Meatballs (1979) 

This classic summer-camp frolic was the first movie directed by Czechoslovakian-Canadian Ivan Reitman (later of Ghostbusters fame), and stars a young Bill Murray as Tripper Harrison, head counsellor at the cut-rate Camp North Star. Meatballs won Genie awards for best screenplay and best actress, but its true Canadian nature is on full-display with its on-location scenes shot throughout Haliburton, a popular cottaging destination in Ontario.

Strange Brew (1983)

In this film, Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV fame make their way to the big screen as they fight to save the world from an evil genius intent on taking over the world. His method? Mind control drugs in beer—the perfect opportunity for hoser hijinks. If you’re feeling a little more highbrow, see if you can catch all the film’s references to Hamlet, which was Dave Thomas’s original inspiration for the plot. 

Canadian Bacon (1985)

Before he became famous for Fahrenheit 9/11, American filmmaker Michael Moore made Canadian Bacon—a satire of Canadian-American relations, and a snarky look at what happens to the US when anti-Canada propaganda takes off. Starring John Candy and shot in Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo, Canadian Bacon is particularly chucklesome for its Prime Minister named Clark MacDonald.

Men With Brooms (2002) 

The only movie we could find with curling as the principal subject, Men With Brooms did respectably well at the box office. Starring and directed by Paul Gross of Due South, and also featuring Leslie Nielsen, Men With Brooms is a lighthearted rom com that spawned a less-successful TV spinoff. Look for members of The Tragically Hip in a cameo playing competitors from a competing rink.

One Week (2008)

Previously described as “a love letter to Canada,” One Week follows a young man diagnosed with Stage Four cancer across the country, as he travels west by motorcycle from Toronto to Vancouver Island. Along what turns out to be an inspiring journey in attempt to find meaning in life, Ben Tyler (played by Joshua Jackson) stops at a variety of landmarks—some recognizable and others less so—from the Terry Fox memorial in Thunder Bay to old motels along the Trans Canada Highway. And like any good Canadian movie, it too features a cameo by a member of The Tragically Hip.

Rainbow Mountain Pillow