Friday, April 19, 2013

Movie Review: “Starbuck”

See it before the Vince Vaughn remake heads your way.

**** out of 5
109 minutes
Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material
Entertainment One

Article first published as Movie Review: Starbuck on Blogcritics.

Nobody does farce quite like the French, right? Well, in the case of the new film Starbuck, co-writer/director Ken Scott’s comedy may sound and look French, but is actually Québécois. After being released back in 2011 in its homeland, the film is finally making its way to the U.S. After reading the film’s synopsis, men may find themselves watching a celluloid nightmare. Even Family Guy has touched on the issue when Quagmire ran into several familiar looking children. If there was ever a testimony for not donating sperm, Starbuck is it.

When you’re $80,000 in debt, probably the worst news you want to hear is that you’ve fathered 533 children. Such is the case of hard luck dealt to a man anonymously calling himself “Starbuck” after donating 693 times. Turns out that man is actually David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) and he’s also down on his luck. His girlfriend Valérie (Julie LeBreton) wants nothing to do with him even though she’s pregnant and is the worst meat delivery man in all of Montreal’s. Everything comes to a head when a lawyer informs him that 142 of his biological children have issued a paternity suit for him to reveal his identity. All this causes David to decide he needs to get some order in his life, even if life events are spiraling out of control.

Scott, and co-writer Martin Petit, keep the mood light enough it never strains your suspension of disbelief making the central conflict of the legal issues easier to bare. With the film already announced to be remade by DreamWorks, thankfully Scott is returning to write and direct. The only problem I see is that Vince Vaughn has been cast as the lead, and we all know he hasn’t been funny in years. Having Steven Spielberg producing could help Scott rein Vaughn in and give the performance we hope he still has in him, but we shall see. Watching Starbuck, I couldn’t help but mentally replace some of the actors on screen with their already cast American counterparts. I don’t see Jon Favreau’s name in the credits yet, but there’s no one more perfect to play David’s best friend/lawyer Avocat (Antoine Bertrand). As for Starbuck, it’s a heartfelt comedy that pushes the right buttons and is certainly worth making your own monetary donation.

Photo courtesy Entertainment One

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