R (sexual content, strong language, drug material); 109 min.
Starbuck is a big, fat French Canadian hug of a movie, a sperm-donations-gone-wrong farce that manages the occasional belly laugh, but also offers moving takes on parenthood, family and what it means to grow up.
David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is the black sheep in his Montreal family, a 30-something slacker who cant even manage the easiest job for the familys butcher shop, driving the delivery truck.
Hes in hock to loan sharks. His idea for making extra cash is setting up a pot-growing operation in his apartment. And when his girlfriend (Julie LeBreton) tells him shes pregnant, thats her brush-off line. She doesnt want their babys father to be a lout who doesnt have a life.
David promises to mend his ways. But that promise is made before hes served with legal papers. There was a screw-up at the sperm bank he used to frequent for extra cash. Somehow, 533 babies were born with his genes, and now, years later, theyre suing to find out who their father is, a donor who went by the name Starbuck.
David doesnt tell his girlfriend or his family. And when hes given the profiles of the people suing to find his identity, he doesnt tell his offspring, either. But he starts checking them out. Ones a rising soccer star. Great! The rest?
Theres a junkie, a bartender who wants to be an actor, a lifeguard, a bag boy at a supermarket, an impoverished busker singing in subway stations.
Starbuck is a smidge too cute and a bit too long, but Huard and director Ken Scott make this comical journey a trip from indifference to kindness, incompetence to responsibility a most rewarding reinvention of what family can mean.
In French and English with English subtitles
Exclusive: Landmark Magnolia, Dallas; Cinemark West Plano
Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service