Thursday, April 04, 2013

Starbuck

A quick detour from BUFF reviews, since it leaves the Boston area after Thursday, which is a bummer; it's a fun little movie that I wish I could have let people in on sooner.

Theoretically, I could have let people in on it a lot sooner, as it was playing Montreal when I was there for Fantasia back in 2011. Funny thing; for all that I read about Quebec having its own film industry and set of stars, it appears to be a fairly compact one - the subway walls, buses, and other public signage usually only seems to be advertising one at a time. Maybe it's a function of when I'm there - middle of the summer, with all the big Hollywood movies sucking up screens. Anyway, I've yet to catch a local movie there that wasn't playing the festival - no time, so I haven't even bothered to check whether any of the version fran├žais films playing have English subtitles.

Of course, part of the reason this is a bit late is a bit of idiocy on my part - I saw this after work Monday, then did my grocery shopping, got back to the house... and realized that I'd left my keys on my desk. So, instead of sitting down and getting some stuff off the DVR while writing, I'm finding the nearest hotel and crashing. An expensive lesson in not forgetting your keys or having a second set, there, although likely less expensive than forcing the door and having to explain to my landlord why there needs to be some work done. Probably could have taken a cab back to the office and crashed on a couch there or something (or even retrieved my keys and returned). Ah, well.

On to the movie itself. Amusing. I used to hear a movie like this described as "remake-ready", in that it doesn't have a particularly non-Hollywood ending or a plot that is overly dependent on where it's set. And, sure enough, it is getting an American remake, later this year in fact, also directed by Ken Scott.

I used to grumble about this sort of English-language remake, but I suppose this one isn't so bad an idea - I don't think the mainstream audience is as anti-subtitle as it's often portrayed as being, but for something this light, I don't know if you'd want to put barriers or effort between the movie and its audience. I am kind of worried about the specifics, though for somewhat opposite reasons. Vince Vaughn will be playing the lead, and he tends to have a very different sort of persona than the character Patrick Huard plays in this movie. I don't know if Vaughn can play the sort of sweet guy Huard does. Which is potentially okay; given the various possibilities inherent in the premise, I wouldn't mind Delivery Man being a different thing from Starbuck. However, if you've got the same guy in charge, I'm not sure how much he's going to change the focus. It can happen, but if Starbuck was a success and Delivery Man shares the same writer/director, I don't know how motivated he'll be to change things.

(It doesn't help, I don't think, that I am sick of seeing the preview for The Internship. I was after the first time, honestly, and by now...)

Starbuck

* * * (out of four)
Seen 1 April 2013 in Landmark Kendall Square #9 (first-run, DCP)

No matter how bound and determined a viewer is to just sit back and enjoy Starbuck for the light comedy that it is, there are going to be moments when he or she can't help but think it's maybe being a little too cute. It's good at cute, though, so it's got a fair shot at entertaining its audience, unless someone is bound and determined to be cynical.

It starts with David Wozniak (Patrick Huard), an amiable fellow who drives the delivery truck for his family's Montreal butcher shop and tends to run late at that. He's kind of a bigger screw-up than that, though - he has $80,000 in debts and finds out his girlfriend Valerie (Julie LeBreton) is pregnant when she says that she doesn't think he's father material. It turns out she's way off on that, at least on one count: About twenty-odd years ago, he donated quite a bit to a sperm bank, and due to some bad practices there, he now has 533 biological children, roughly a third of which have filed suit to reveal his identity.

This is, if you'll pardon the pun, actually a pretty fertile idea. What does a guy who has never really accomplished much do when confronted with dozens-to-hundreds of examples of his potential, good or bad? What sense of responsibility does he have to each one or the group as a whole? And for all that the average person hearing about this situation may instinctively recoil, what does it mean for young adults who more than likely grew up only children in single-family households?

Full review on eFilmCritic.

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