ByTowne ByTowne Cinema
325 Rideau St. Ottawa K1N 5Y4
Info Line: (613) 789-FILM
David Wozniak’s life is not going exactly swimmingly. His girlfriend is pregnant, fed up and ready to go it alone. Some thugs keep dropping by unexpectedly and nearly drowning him in the hope of collecting on an overdue $80,000 debt.
But these turn out to be the least of his worries because, about 20 years earlier, David was a dab hand, as it were, and regular contributor to a local sperm bank, so prolific that he is given the code name Starbuck, after a particularly willing and able Canadian bull.
David learns the clinic has used his, um, contributions to sire 533 children, 142 of whom have launched a class-action suit to learn the name of their father. With the help of his lawyer friend, David files suit against the clinic to keep his identity secret and for much-needed cash.
But David can’t leave well enough alone. He can’t help wondering about the children he’s fathered and begins to surreptitiously track them down. One is a subway busker, one is an actor, another a young woman struggling with a heroin addiction, another a severely disabled young man living in an institution. Another one somehow finds him and decides to move in.
With such a fertile concept in play, it’s no surprise that what unfolds is a wonderfully sweet and poignant comedy that goes in all kinds of unexpected directions. (Wait till you find out why David needed the $22,000 he earned at the sperm bank, for example.)
Patrick Huard is superb in the role of David, a broad-shouldered, tattooed bull of a man who effortlessly imbues the character with genuine warmth and humanity. He’s ably backed by a strong cast including Antoine Bertrand as his chunky, jolly lawyer pal and Igor Ovadis as his exasperated father.
The film is also suffused with a youthful energy that comes from the scores of young people who play David’s offspring. They come in all shapes, sizes and races and, in their pursuit of their father’s name, become a real family.
Starbuck is smart throughout, uproariously funny at times and unexpectedly tender at others. You might just call it a big daddy of a comedy.
– Bruce DeMara, The Toronto Star
Fils d’un boucher immigrant, adepte de football (soccer) et éternel adolescent, David Wosniak (Huard) apprend un jour qu’il est le père biologique de 533 enfants et que sa blonde Valérie (Le Breton) est enceinte. De quoi occuper l’esprit de ce livreur de 42 ans qui ne porte que des t-shirts à logo. Mais voilà! Wosniak a aussi une grosse dette de drogue à payer et doit apprendre à manoeuvrer à travers ces trois histoires qui s’entrecroisent.
Ému de cette nouvelle multipaternité, il entre indirectement en contact avec ses enfants de qui il veut devenir l’« ange gardien ». Mais, désirant rester dans l’ombre, il trouve protection auprès de son ami avocat (Bertrand), père brouillon et dépassé de quatre marmots.
Ken Scott et le coscénariste Martin Petit ont su trouver l’équilibre qu’il fallait pour rendre l’ensemble crédible. Le ton est juste sans jamais être appuyé ou tomber dans le pathos. Les répliques solides. Les blagues font mouche. Et si on peut déjà prévoir que d’aucuns verront dans ce film une belle réflexion sur la paternité, il faudra retenir que la recherche de l’amour et la quête d’une identité familiale vont dans les deux sens.
– André Duchesne, Le Droit
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