(Ken Scott, 2011)
David (Patrick Huard) is a delivery man for the family butchery. He is the black sheep and owes 80 000$ to a gang. He grows weed in his apartment and one day he learns that he is the father of 533 children. Having given more than 600 times to a sperm bank twenty years ago, signing by the pseudonym of Strabuck the famous Canadian bull who produced great milk cows, David is asked to reveal his true identity for a group of 142 of his biological children looking for their father.
Watching a film on fatherhood when I will be the father of a little baby girl in three months, I was all eyes and ears opened for this comedy. It is also worth to mention that I like most of Ken Scott’s previous work like his film Les Doigts Croches and his sitcom Le Plateau. With a nice beginning, Starbuck however suffers from the original idea being difficult to handle through three definite acts where its conclusion is often using conventions of the genre and has to solve every problem in a hurry. Some elements of the ending of this film are confusing and felt too easy to really felt true while the rest of the plot was still comfortable in some sort of realism, Scott seems to had the urge to make things more than right. Sometimes a feelgood movie doesn’t need to be polished to a point where the defaults of a character are forgot.
With all that said, Starbuck is a comedy that works with its characters of David, his friend the advocate (Antoine Bertrand), his girlfriend (Julie Le Breton), and his many children. This is a film about family and keeping in touch with the ones who are dear to us. The cinematography is filled with bright colors and depicts summer in Montréal. Writer/director Ken Scott has done a very good film in Starbuck and it is no surprise that it had a nice career outside of the province of Québec. It generated to remakes, one in France titled Fonzy and an American remake by the same writer/director (Scott) Delivery Man starring Vince Vaughn. Starbuck doesn’t treat about local problems but like the films of Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese master, it is about the most universal theme other than love and sex : family.
Far from being the most interesting film from Québec, Starbuck is a nice little gem or a nice surprise. A great feelgood movie that shined over our borders and that deserved its success. Before watching Delivery Man do yourself a favor and watch Starbuck, it is the original.