‘Starbuck,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Funny, surprising and full of heart, the French-Canadian comedy “Starbuck” has nothing to do with coffee (that name, after all, came from a character in “Moby-Dick”) and everything to do with redefining notions of family.

Directed by Ken Scott from a script he wrote with Martin Petit, the film stars Patrick Huard as David Wozniak, a guy in his 40s who delivers meat for his father’s butcher company in Montreal – and does it badly. He walks around in throwback t-shirts for defunct American sports teams and is trying to grow hydroponic weed, in hopes of selling it to pay off an $80,000 debt he owes to a loan shark.

When his long-time but fed-up girlfriend reveals that she’s pregnant, she also says she wants nothing to do with his sorry self. Her baby will never know its father, she promises, because he’s too much of an irresponsible loser.

Then David gets a visit from an attorney: Twenty years earlier, it seems, David made more than 600 deposits at a local sperm bank as a money-making scheme. His code name for his account: Starbuck.

But the sperm bank mistakenly used only his sperm over the course of that period – meaning that he is the biological father of more than 500 children. And now more than 140 of them have filed requests seeking his identity.

This review continues on my website.

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