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"Starbuck": Sperm Bank Crisis 

Wednesday, Mar 27 2013

Not to suggest a Moby Dick spinoff, nor a Kara Thrace-intensive Battlestar Galactica prequel, nor some sort of coffee-mermaid-monster epic, the title of Ken Scott's French Canadian crowd-pleaser likens its protagonist to a Holstein bull famous for his widely disseminated semen. This improbably agreeable comedy is done in the approximate style of Reagan-era Hollywood, complete with falsely modest patriarchal condescension, but very helpfully filtered through a sweetly scruffy Montreal ethos. Also born of the '80s are the more than 100 children sired by our hero, a one-time sperm-donation pro who's now a hapless 40-something bachelor and big-hearted lug played by Patrick Huard. Just as his ex-lover (Julie LeBreton) tells him she's pregnant, all those previous kids file a class-action suit to find out who he is. Stepping up to dadhood starts with peeking into their lives and pretending to be a guardian angel. From there it only gets more preposterous, but in creatively various ways. Scott's narrative discretion and well-played bits of shtick somehow sustain his silly fantasy of expansively functional family, and the whole thing goes down more easily than it has any right to.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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