It has been an absolute joy to discover that the distribution channels between film industries have become noticeably wider over recent years. Following a large injection of cash from the Canadian government back in 2001, the revival and, thus, quality of pictures coming from the state of Canada have been hard to ignore.
Comedy is a genre that has traditionally tittered on the brink of outlandish for Canada but they consistently get it right. Starbuck is one of those that runs on a slightly unbelievable premise but manages to hold it together (for the most part).
Written and directed by Ken Scott, we follow dead-beat 40-something David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) who seems to be a failure at almost everything. An $80,000 debt has forced him to grow the most unsuccessful cannabis farm in his attic. His girlfriend Valerie (Julie LeBreton) has just found she’s pregnant and, unsurprisingly, wants nothing to do with him. It goes from bad to worse when a young, penniless David had taken a few too many trips to the sperm bank resulting in David fathering 533 offspring, 142 of whom now wish to overturn the court ruling and find out who their father is. Will he reveal his identity?
A decision made by Scott was to have Wozniak in every scene, possibly to keep the primary focus of the story from his perspective. It works incredibly well as Wozniak is the funniest character and invites most of the big laughs the film has to offer. Although the premise of the film is believable, it is incredibly unlikely. However, this merely gives the director artistic licence to have fun and make, what turns out to be, an enjoyable little comedy.
Having said this, Starbuck is far from perfect. It is what one would call “slightly rough around the edges” as there are a few scenes that could have done with a nip and a tuck. The relationship Wozniak has with his best friend and legal aid, played by Antoine Bertrand, is touching in parts but gets more and more annoying the more we see of it. News that Hollywood are planning a stab at the story with Vince Vaughn playing the part of Wozniak and Scott directing once more is a welcome one, as I feel a bigger budget would allow for this extraordinary story to be better told.
All involved give a valiant effort and brilliantly showcase the comedic talent that Quebec has. All that is left to say is that it is a crying shame Starbuck won’t be available in more screens when it is finally released in the UK.
Watch the trailer here: