List Film

Starbuck (3 stars)

Likeable but flawed comedy drama about a prolific sperm donor


David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is a loser. He works – barely – at his dad’s butcher shop; he neglects his girlfriend Valerie (Julie LeBreton); he’s borrowed money from gangsters to start his own domestic pot farm, and is unable to pay it back. On top of all this, he’s just found out that the numerous donations he made to a sperm bank in his youth have resulted in the birth of 533 children, many of whom have petitioned the courts to reveal his identity.

It’s a concept with decent comedic potential, but the script from Martin Petit and Ken Scott (who also directs) rarely raises more than a titter. Wozniak’s slacker antics are overdone to the point of tedium, and his best friend and lawyer (Antoine Bertrand) is not much funnier than the average man down the pub, despite being clearly intended as the key comic relief.

Dramatically, the film fares little better. Wozniak’s attempts to connect with his offspring (without revealing his identity) are contrived to occur at a time when the kids benefit most from his appearance. Scenes involving a handicapped boy are especially heavy-handed, slapping the audience about the face with ‘Dave’s not all bad’ symbolism.

Thank goodness then for Huard, who manages to make Wozniak likeable in spite of his many faults. LeBreton, too, deserves praise for her no nonsense portrayal of Valerie – like the audience, she still has a flicker of affection for a man who is, by all accounts, a bit of a jerk.

Starbuck Trailer (2012)


  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • Canada
  • 109 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ken Scott
  • Written by: Ken Scott/Martin Petit
  • Cast: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand
  • UK release: 23 November 2012

Comedy about a 40-something slacker who is brought back to earth with a bang when the donations he made to a sperm bank years ago come back to haunt him.


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