Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published January 4th 2013
A French Canadian comedy about a sperm donor doesn't exactly engender much promise, but Starbuck is a surprisingly enjoyable experience thanks to a winning script by director Ken Scott, who shows a great deal of affection for his characters.
The story centres around David Wozniak, who could easily be judged as a non-achiever - if you don't count the fact that he has secretly spawned literally hundreds of children thanks to his more than generous contributions to the local sperm bank.
With many of his kids now in their early 20's, they've formed a collective and have started campaigning their adoption agency to find out who their real father is.
In the hands of many, this could have been a very generic, broad comedy, or a schmalzy, corn-fest. Scott, however, has made his central character a very empathetic everyman and knows that to generate real laughs, its better to root your comedy in situations and characters that are believable. He's ably supported by Patrick Huard who gives an understated performance as David.
Much of the film's charm is in David's incarnation as a bit of a male Amelie, taking it upon himself to anonymously lend a helping hand to his offspring.
This is a disarming crowd-pleaser, filled with natural performances, plenty of laughs and even a few unexpectedly touching moments.
Starbuck is getting the full Hollywood remake treatment, with Vince Vaughan playing the title role in The Delivery Man. I'm having trouble imaging it'll be better than the original.