Knox Oil and Gas of Houston is far removed from the North Sea oil it desires - and the sleepy Scottish seaside village it wants to buy and replace with a refinery. So Knox sends it ace dealmaker (Peter Riegart) to negotiate. He finds cheerful future millionaires, awesome northern lights, a lusty innkeeper, a stubborn beachcomber and a mermaid with webbed toes. Forsyth's touch is perfect: whether showing us a tycoon (Burt Lancaster) with his head in the stars or bridging generations at an all-night ceilidh dance.
Everything about it is so good: the dialogue by Bill Forsyth shines, the music by Mark Knopfler is knockout, the story, the cast, the setting....it's Scottishness was so on the money...the only bit I find tedious is the psychoanalyst..... it's not really a criticism, just doesn't add anything to the plot in my view.
Perhaps Bill Forsythe's best film, with a touch of the Ealing Comedies about it (Whisky Galore comes to mind). It's a wistful reflection on Scottish identity, the virtues of small-town life and the value (or not) of money. It's sentimental, but (imho) in a really good way, with lovely performances by the main actors and a fabulous supporting cast. Well worth seeing (or seeing again. And again).