Movie Review: 'Starbuck' has a fertile imagination

For the News-DemocratMay 2, 2013 

What It's About

A heartwarming French Canadian comedy about David Wozniak, an adult slacker, age 42, who learns his girlfriend is pregnant. This raises fatherhood issues -- expectations, what a family means these days, and so forth.

While David is trying to become more responsible, he is thrust into a media circus. Twenty years earlier, he went to a fertility clinic to make some money. Through the news media, he discovers that he fathered 533 children, and 142 of them have joined a class action lawsuit to find out his identity, as he went by the pseudonym "Starbuck" at the clinic.

The 142 people start gathering, developing bonds from their mutual relationship. This fascinates David, and he delves into finding out who they are.

This changes him forever. But it's not smooth sailing, and the obstacles life throws his way threaten to get him off-track.

Performances

Patrick Huard is a deft comedian, and he connects with the audience to make this a charming crowd-pleaser. You root for Julie LeBreton as his long-suffering girlfriend Valerie, too.

David is one of many brothers in a butcher's clan. The Wozniaks are a loud, mouthy bunch and it's fun to observe the family dynamics.

What Works

Entertaining and funny, this little film was popular with St. Louis International Film Festival audiences last November. Now making the arthouse rounds, "Starbuck" is one of those little projects that surprisingly connects with viewers because there is much to identify with or be amused by.

The characters are well-defined, and some stories will draw tears. Director and co-writer Ben Scott monitors the cute, and it's not overtly sentimental either. A lovely slice of life with well-earned laughs.

What Doesn't Work

The very nature of the subject matter might steer folks away, but trust me on this one. Don't let the premise scare you. It's tastefully handled, and well-done.

3 1/2 stars out of 4

Director: Ken Scott

Starring: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton

Length: 1:49

Rated: R for sexual content, language and some drug material

In French with English subtitles

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