“Starbuck” is a big, fat French-Canadian hug of a movie, a sperm-donations-gone-wrong farce that manages the occasional belly laugh, but also offers moving takes on parenthood, family and what it means to grow up.
David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) makes one wonder what the French word for “galoot” is. He’s the black sheep in his Montreal family, a thirty-something slacker who can’t do the easiest job in the family’s butcher shop right — driving the delivery truck. He’s forever taking the truck for personal errands, forgetting to do this or that and then lying the moment he’s found out.
He’s in hock to loan sharks. His idea for making extra cash is setting up a pot-growing operation in his apartment. And when his girlfriend (Julie LeBreton) tells him that she’s pregnant, that’s her brush-off line. She doesn’t want their baby’s father to be a lout “who doesn’t have a life.”
David promises to mend his ways. But that promise is made before he’s served with legal papers. There was a screw-up at the sperm bank he used to frequent for extra cash. Somehow, 533 babies were born with his genes, and now, years later, they’re suing to find out who their “father” is, a donor who went by the name “Starbuck.”
David consults his best friend, a harried father and sometime lawyer played to hilarious effect by Antoine Bertrand (a French version of Oliver Platt), who wants to take on this landmark privacy case.
David doesn’t tell his girlfriend or his family. And when he’s given the profiles of the people suing to find his identity, he doesn’t tell his offspring, either. But he starts checking them out. One’s a rising soccer star. Great! The rest?