David Wozniak is having trouble getting his life together, but that doesn’t bother him so much. The main issue is his debt that he can’t pay back, and…the discovery that he has many children because something went wrong at the artificial insemination clinic. Will he avoid his 533 children and claim anonymity, or will he take on some of his responsibility?
The question of how he will deal with 142 (out of 533) of his children that started a class action lawsuit is answered in the very beginning of this movie. And from there it takes the audience on an emotional, funny, and profound journey that could be described as the ultimate movie experience. You know the feeling that you get when a movie evokes all of your emotions, and when it actually lands? This is that kind of a movie; Love, frustration, family, great jokes and characters, and very serious dialogue at times.
It is almost too difficult to explain what makes “Starbuck” so great without spoiling it, but the main thing is that everything just works so well. The acting is really good and realistic to the point that you really stay connected to each of the characters. And let me tell you, there are many different characters that add to this story. Moreover, It’s not easy to develop so many different characters and make them realistic. And this is of course mainly thanks to the amazing script, and the actors that delivered the dialogue. However, this is not everything because the director also managed to capture all of the essential moments within each scene. At times the camera shot can be described as iconic because of the angle and set design. At other times it is your standard comedy dialogue and simplicity that establishes the mood. I would say that there are many different styles within this movie, and they are all being successfully used at the right moment.
However, the main accomplishment might be that David Wozniak as a character is very likeable. This is because he is sincere. Yes, he has some issues, but at the end of the day he is a good guy that still tries to find his way in life. I guess there is no real antagonist in this movie except for the people that try to force David to pay back his debt. This movie is also not meant to have a clear cut perspective on certain issues. It is all about the human experience. Or rather, David’s human experience in which he tries to find a balance between his girlfriend, and his ‘new’ family. Additionally, “choices” is the essential word within this entire story because it propels the multiple narratives that are being covered. One could even go as far as to say that there is not a classic protagonist because the focus is often on one of the 142 children. In such scenes David is merely an observer and doesn’t want to interfere. At other times he does interfere and becomes the protagonist again. It is almost like a protagonist dance between David, and his 142 children.
Is there something critical to say about this movie? Not really, but I can tell you why this movie will never be considered one of the all time greatest comedy movies ever made. The reason is a very sad one; his film is French-Canadian, and the English speaking audience often doesn’t like French-Canadian movies. Alternatively, “Starbuck ” didn’t get enough media attention, but we all know that the audience prefers English over French-Canadian. It is what it is, but a lot of people are missing out on great films because they refuse to watch a foreign language movie. However, this specific topic might be worth discussing in a separate article or column. Just go and watch it somewhere.
Director: Ken Scott. Writers: Ken Scott, Martin Petit.