Starbuck is a 2011 Canadian comedy film directed by Ken Scott. It was the most successful Quebec-made movie within the province in 2011, bringing in just over $3m at the box office. Based loosely on the real life case of a popular sperm donor who met his previously unknown offspring, it extends and dramatizes certain factual elements throughout.
Set in the 1980s Starbuck follows David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) a manchild who has never grown-up. Throughout his life he has made numerous donations to a sperm bank, using the money to fund his slacker lifestyle. His life is interrupted when 142 people who were all fathered by his sperm force the fertility clinic to reveal David’s identity. He goes on to learn that he has actually fathered over 500 children and slowly begins to meet them, finding a level of maturity he never knew he had.
As the synopsis suggests, Starbuck is a rather sentimental look at a true story. The name refers to a Canadian Hosltein bull who produced hundreds of thousands of progeny by artificial insemination in the 1980s and 90s. High concept to say the least, Starbuck manages to avoid total sentimental clichÃ© thanks to a classy performance by Huard and a deft directorial job by Scott. Even as David’s guardian angel schtick begins to wear thin, there’s enough emotional impact to keep it on the right side of saccharine sweet.
David’s ˜balck sheep’ status within the family meat business and the disapproving pregnant wife who considers him to immature to be a father all add to the multiple storyline threads running through Starbuck. These combined with Huard’s calamitous and amusing turn help to breathe new life into each scene, and while it lacks the true subtlety to make it a classic, Starbuck is kind-natured and sweet enough to entertain long after the credits have rolled.