‘Starbuck’ Movie Review – A Breath of Fresh Air
Imagine this: thugs are out to get you. Also, your girlfriend is trying to decide whether to endure your immaturity. Then, you find out you have potentially fathered over 500 children. Wait…what? Is this seriously a movie? What is even crazier is just how funny it actually is. Mostly thanks to actor/director Ken Scott, Starbuck is a Canadian comedy about more than just artificial insemination; it is a story about growing up.
“Growing up” isn’t a concept new to movies. In fact, a lot of my favorite comedies are kind of coming-of-age tales. Sure, the characters are coming-to-age a little later than they probably should. Still, Starbuck fits the mold of the better half because it’s so dang funny.
And how can it not be?
David (Scott) starts the movie in an apathetic haze. Not only does he have no real career drive, but he’s not willing to solidify his relationship with his girlfriend, Valerie (Julie LeBreton). Then, he gets the earth-shattering news that his mass sperm donations decades before resulted in a pletora (I don’t think this even describes the sheer volume) of offspring.
When his “children” form a class-action lawsuit, they demand to find out their true father’s identity. The story hits the news, and it becomes all the rage. With a court date pending, David must make a decision about revealing his identity (and his past) and his future with Valerie.
I originally saw the film at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) last May. Although it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, the movie still sticks out. This is a telling sign. Scott’s performance as the lazy-but-still-heartfelt protagonist is one of the many highlights.
Being Canadian, the film is shot completely in French. This is a rare instance where the subtitles actually enhance the humor. One advantage of subtitles is that it forces the audience to pay closer attention to the movie. In this case, it helps create a more delayed (but more satisfactory) punchline.
With a unique concept and genuinely funny product, Starbuck didn’t have to wait long to get the English-remake treatment. Even though it is being released in March, the remake is already scheduled to release in October! Leave it to Hollywood to rush a remake just so Americans don’t have to read. The good news: Ken Scott is directing the new one (tentatively titled The Delivery Man) and Vince Vaughn will be starring.
My suggestion is to the see the original. Most won’t even know it is a remake at the time, but I’m pretty confident Starbuck will be the better film. We’re used to seeing Vaughn in these roles (Wedding Crashers is one example), but Ken Scott is the breath of fresh air. He’s both hilarious and talented – serving as director and co-writer. The real feat is how comedically real they make the entire story given the outlandish premise. Seriously…it’s about a man donating enough sperm to create a small army.
I’m still laughing at that.
Starbuck opens in limited release this weekend. Seek it out if you can!
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