Making the Grades
Red Green dates back to a Canadian fishing show my Dad had to watch every Saturday with a host named Red Fisher. Fuzzy film footage of forty-something males reeling in trout was capped with a "rousing" discussion of the day's events back at the ol' fishing lodge. Obviously, I wasn't the only one who saw the unintentional humor. Canadian Steve Smith was inspired by the serious Fisher to create Red Green, the star character of his comedy television series.
Like the TV show, the movie features Red (played by Smith), who is able to fix or create anything with a few rolls of duct tape (the "handyman's secret weapon"). He keeps rickety Possum Lodge maintained just well enough to accommodate the many lodge brothers who rely on him for leadership and distraction, and puts up with his nerdy nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna), who provides a younger perspective.
One day, Robert Styles (Richard Fitzpatrick) -- a rich city slicker in a limousine -- attempts to visit the lodge, but instead of dropping by, he drops into a huge sinkhole on the property. With his limo eventually wallowing in the infamous Possum Lake, Styles successfully sues the lodge for damages amounting to ten-grand. Surprisingly, it's Red's nephew Harold who finds the idea that could save Possum Lodge: a duct tape contest in Minnesota. Heading toward the US with a huge duct tape sculpted goose in tow, the pair discovers Styles' real motivation.
Full of male characters that aspire to nothing and are thrilled when they achieve that goal, this movie (and the TV show) has allowed many to laugh at midlife stresses, yet some parents may see the characters for the poor role models they are. Either way, it's been a long time since an adult comedy has hit theaters with only a smattering of mild expletives -- although a few unnecessary sexual references, dishonest police, and some gunshots are included.
Feeling a little like Red Green really did make this movie, the "do-it-yourself" feel of this low budget production adds to the charm that has made his TV show a sticking success.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Red Green’s Duct Tape Forever.
Steve Smith creator and actor of the Red Green character, has been involved in Canadian television production for decades and—much like Red Green—has learned how to make something out of nothing in the entertainment business. Duct Tape Forever was produced on a scant $3.5 million dollar budget, with Smith contributing a great deal of his own money and pulling his own trailer for sleeping accommodations. As well, many fans of the television show helped by contributing their own duct tape creations for the final scene.
For more information on Smith and his Red Green creation, check this article archive from Canada’s Canoe web publication: www.canoe.ca/TelevisionShowsR/redgreen.html
For an interesting example of how corporations use entertainment to promote their products, check out: http://international.3m.com
What does Steve Smith really sound like? Listen to these interviews (you’ll have to scroll down the page a short way) to find out what the creator of Red Green has to say about making good comedy: www.screentalk.org/banff020.htm