Starbuck. A film that incidentally has absolutely nothing to do with coffee. I bet you were expecting a documentary a la Supersize Me unearthing the guilty secrets of the coffee super brand that sometimes forgets to pay taxes, allegedly…

In fact, Starbuck is the alias that David Wozniak [Patrick Huard] uses when donating sperm. Apparently it was the name of a Canadian bull that produced tons of offspring via artificial insemination in the eighties and nineties.

Protagonist David Wozniak is a perpetual adolescent who discovers that thanks to his aforementioned sperm donation, he has fathered 533 children. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this guy’s problems.

A deliveryman for the local family run butchers, seriously in debt, he struggles to get himself through the day. Thugs are pursuing David, because he owes them money. Next, he is advised that 142 of his offspring are trying to force the fertility clinic to reveal the true identity of “Starbuck”, the pseudonym he used when donating sperm. In addition, his girlfriend Valérie is pregnant with his child but does not feel that he is mature enough to be a father. The media go crazy trying to figure out who the elusive and seemingly very virile Starbuck is, leaving David to deliberate the pros and cons of revealing himself.

The film is a perfect comedy come drama- can we say dramedy perhaps? Directed by Ken Scott this French film displays the true heart in foreign film. There are countless opportunities for overblown sentimentalism and ridiculous amounts of slapstick comedy but this French film connotes the humour through a clever script and some fantastically shot scenes. Whilst watching, I thought to myself, only this kind of subject matter can be done justice by the French/Canadian film industry. The ridiculousness in the story line would undoubtedly become highlighted and then in turn outweigh the delicacies of the sentiment if it were to be shot by an English/American company.

Amidst the overt comedy of a man accidentally fathering so many children from a sperm donation and his friendship with his old friend/lawyer the layering of the story and its meaning are portrayed brilliantly, showcasing the emotions and significance of family.

 

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing – although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.