French-Canadian comedy about a 42-year-old man child who is in serious debt, about to lose his pregnant girlfriend and has just discovered that he’s the biological father to 533 children. Click here for movie times.
With a premise as absurd and outlandish at Starbuck’s, I was almost expecting it to be based on truth (a la I Love You, Phillip Morris). Though that may not be the case, this French-Canadian comedy often fascinates with its improbable basis, filled with neat quirks and chuckle-inducing wit.
When our lead David receives the profiles to all 142 of his biological children that wish to know his identity, he covertly seeks them out one by one. These ‘stalking’ sessions put David in a number of interesting situations, as with the son who cheats on his three boyfriends and one girlfriend. His befuddled reactions and unsubtle solutions are a joy to watch as he develops a sense of responsibility over his ‘kids’.
It’s a shame these segments aren’t elaborated on, instead falling victim to dastardly montage. David’s character arc also fails to convince; Patrick Huard gives it his all but the film never really gives us evidence of the lead’s man-childishness nor his affection for his sort-of-girlfriend. David’s initial acts of goodwill towards his biological children also seem to be a result of blind luck rather than a genuinely thought-out solution.
But despite the way Starbuck jerks around (ha) with the character’s growth, it’s still satisfying to see this intriguingly bizarre situation play out, even managing to warm the heart with a refreshing take on family unity.