Starbuck (film)

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Starbuck
Starbuck.jpg
Directed by Ken Scott
Produced by André Rouleau
Written by Martin Petit
Ken Scott
Starring Patrick Huard
Antoine Bertrand
Julie LeBreton
Music by David Lafleche
Cinematography Pierre Gill
Edited by Yvann Thibaudeau
Production
  company
Caramel Film
Distributed by Les Films Christal (Canada)
Entertainment One (US)
Release date(s)
  • 27 July 2011 (2011-07-27) (Quebec)
  • 14 September 2011 (2011-09-14) (TIFF)
Running time 109 minutes[1]
Country Canada
Language French
Spanish
Box office $6,320,093 (Worldwide)[2]

Starbuck is a 2011 Canadian comedy film directed by Ken Scott and written by Scott and Martin Petit.[3] It stars Patrick Huard (Bon Cop, Bad Cop), Antoine Bertrand, and Julie LeBreton as the main character, his friend/lawyer, and his girlfriend, respectively.

The film's title refers to a Canadian Holstein bull, named Hanoverhill Starbuck, who produced hundreds of thousands of progeny by artificial insemination in the 1980s and 1990s.[4]

Plot[edit]

In a 1988 prologue, David Wozniak is at a Quebec sperm bank making a donation. Twenty-three years later, in 2011, he is a hapless deliveryman for his family's butcher shop, pursued by thugs whom he owes $80,000. His girlfriend Valérie is pregnant with his child. One day, David returns from work to find a lawyer from the sperm bank who tells him he has fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have joined a class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of "Starbuck", the alias he used as a sperm donor.

David's friend and lawyer represents him as he tries to keep the records sealed. He provides David with profiles of each party to the lawsuit: David tracks down several of them, finding moments for providing help or encouragement. One is a severely disabled young man he visits in an institution. At one point, tailing one of them, David finds himself at a meeting of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against him. David decides to identify himself, but after the thugs assault his father, he agrees with his lawyer to sue the sperm bank for damages. He wins the lawsuit, receives $200,000, and keeps his identity secret.

David has regrets, but his lawyer advises him that revealing his identity would require him to return the money he won from the lawsuit. After his father gives him his share of the family business so he can pay off his debt, David sends an e-mail identifying himself to the media. He goes to Valerie's house as she is going into premature labour. At the hospital, his baby is born, he proposes to Valerie, and many of the children show up to see him.

Inspiration[edit]

The theme of the movie may have been inspired by the 2011 revelation that an anonymous U.S. donor was found to have produced at least 150 children.[5] Few people are known with more children among the people with the most children.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Starbuck was screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on 14–15 September 2011,[6] where it was runner-up for the People's Choice Award.[7] It was chosen "Most Popular Canadian Film" at the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival.[7]

In September 2011, Chris Knight, the chief film critic for the National Post, called it a "sparkling crowd-pleaser" based on a "ludicrous premise, sure. But Scott's pithy script (co-written by Martin Petit), linked to Huard's likeable layabout, makes the whole thing as easy to take as candy from a baby."[8]

Upon its November 2012 UK release, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it 2/5 stars (two stars out of five), and called it a "lame comedy-drama" that loses "almost all the charm of the real story...through the contrivances and overacting."[9]

Box office[edit]

The film was the most successful Quebec-made film within the province in 2011, bringing in $3,399,338 in box office revenue for the year.[10]

Remakes[edit]

First Take Entertainment released Vicky Donor, a Bollywood version loosely based on the original, in 2012.[10]

A French remake, Fonzy, was released in France on 30 October 2013. José Garcia played the lead character.[11]

Scott co-wrote and directed an American remake, Delivery Man. It was produced by DreamWorks Pictures, and Vince Vaughn played the lead character.[12][13] It was released on 22 November 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "STARBUCK (15)". Signature Entertainment. British Board of Film Classification. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Starbuck (U.S. only) (2013) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 84. ISBN 978-1908215017. 
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Brendan (27 July 2011). "Fertile premise delivers laughs - and insight into fatherhood". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  5. ^ One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring
  6. ^ "Starbuck, Ken Scott: Gala Presentations". Toronto International Film Festival. September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Starbuck is a crowd-pleasing comedy from Quebec". reelshorts.ca. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Knight, Chris (22 September 2011). "Film Review: Starbuck (3.5 stars)". National Post. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (22 November 2012). "Film Review: Starbuck (3.5 stars)". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Massé, Isabelle (4 January 2012). "Starbuck renaîtra en Inde (Starbuck is reborn in India)". La Presse. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (12 November 2013). "Delivery Man: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Breakdown Express". Talentrep.breakdownexpress.com. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "La Zone Audio • Vidéo". Radio-Canada.ca. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 

External links[edit]