Published Sep 15, 2011Bill Hicks has a line about being responsible for the slaughter of millions with an empty gym sock, which acts as a metaphor for the supposed sanctity of life. It's all relative, and while the average man thinks about as much as his most recent masturbation session as what's on the value menu at Taco Bell, when rubbing a few out turns into 500-plus children, the tables do indeed turn.
Starbuck is an utterly amiable Quebec dramedy about just such a conundrum, or what happens when perpetual man-child David Wozniak (Patrick Huard of Bon Cop, Bad Cop) is confronted with the fact that his casual donation at the sperm bank in the late '80s resulted in hundreds of children, 194 of whom want to know who their biological father is.
David is the classic cinematic free spirit, full of big dreams but barely able to hold down his nepotistical job delivering meat for his family's butcher shop. So, rather than own up to his seed-spilling, David surreptitiously involves himself in the lives of his mini-legacies, acting as a sort of guardian angel, subbing for one at a restaurant as he races of to an audition for "the role of a lifetime" or leading a rousing round-of-applause for another acting as a character interpreter at a historical village.
Starbuck is a film that works in spite of itself, one that always seems to be on the verge of silliness, yet always manages to restrain itself at just the right moments. Huard, as the grubbily handsome David, is perfectly cast as the ultimate nice guy thrust into an absurd situation, and his constant bemusement, coupled with his endearing schemes to infiltrate the lives of his test-tube babies, makes both Starbuck the man and Starbuck the movie lovable.
Catch the original version, because there's no way the Hollywood remake machine will be able to keep their paws of this guaranteed crowd-rouser. (eOne)