Winter 2012 Features series
Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 7:00pm
Directed by Ken Scott
Screenplay by Ken Scott and Martin Petit
Starring Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, and Antoine Bertrand
Rated 14A ·
Ken Scott’s colourful Québécois comedy follows a middle-aged slacker (Patrick Huard) who has just been informed that the sperm he once donated has fathered no less than 533 children, many of whom are now suing the clinic to meet their maker.
David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is a train wreck of a middle-aged man. When he’s not disappointing his brothers at his family-owned butcher shop or flaking out on his too-good-for-him girlfriend Valérie (Julie Le Breton), he’s getting his head dunked into a bathtub full of water by thugs to whom he owes an obscene amount of money.
David’s loser-ish existence is upended when a lawyer informs him that he’s fathered no less than 533 children via his one and only talent: donating sperm. (He is so gifted in this area that he is given the nickname Starbuck, after the storied bull.) The shocks keep coming for David. He’s also notified that over a hundred of his now young-adult offspring are taking legal action against the sperm-donor clinic to reveal the true identity of the infamous Starbuck. With the help of his blundering lawyer pal (Antoine Bertrand), David sets out to keep his identity under wraps. However, much to his friend’s chagrin, he begins to meet up with and even aid his children without letting them know who he really is.
What initially serves as a slapstick set-up makes a surprising transition into dramatic territory when David begins to interact with his extremely diverse children. And thanks to his newfound paternal status, David’s relationship with his own father (Igor Óvadis) takes an unexpectedly tender turn.
The film benefits greatly from Scott’s keen eye for detail and loving treatment of Montréal–represented through a vibrant colour palette that accurately depicts the city’s distinct beauty and culture. With a plot as outlandish as this, Starbuck could easily be remade as a broader Hollywood comedy, but duplicating its rich and unique appeal won’t come easy.