Wednesday, January 11, 2012


No, this isn't a flashback post about one of our favorite topics of years past -- Battlestar Galactica -- it's a post about a great movie I saw last night that I expect very few if any of you have heard of or seen, unless you live in Quebec.

The movie's called Starbuck and I can't remember when I last had such an unexpectedly good time at the movies. After I got out of jury duty this afternoon, I went down to the TIFF building just to see the Grace Kelly exhibit before it closes... and this movie was starting in an hour and I'd remember people raving about it during the festival this year, so thought I'd check it out.

The star is Patrick Huard who's not well known outside of Quebec, although according to the programmer who introduced the film, he's just about the biggest movie star in Quebec TV and film these days. I saw him a few years ago in the Canadian film Bon Cop/Bad Cop, which could have been fabulous, but was just kind of okay... But this post isn't about that movie, one that frankly was trying too hard to be "Canadian". This post is about Starbuck, which wasn't trying to be anything but funny and heartwarming and succeeded at both.

I'm trying to analyze Starbuck from a DWT perspective, but honestly, I think I'd have to see it again. I think there's something to learn about introducing a less than heroic character, but I can't 100% remember how the character was introduced. No, that's a lie. We first see him about 20 years before the story starts, jerking off at a sperm donor clinic... But then I can't remember what came next, (oh, that pun was not intended!), except that I started laughing out loud (really loud) soon after the movie began, and also teared up at least twice near the end. For me, that sums up an perfect comedy movie experience.

The premise is a tad ridiculous and some of the ways in which the story develops aren't plausible, but it's so funny and has so much heart, you don't care. The premise is this affable 40-something screw up who's just learned his girlfriend is pregnant at the same time she breaks up with him for being a screw up (oh, and some loan sharks are beating him up daily for the $80,000 he owes them, and he's trying to start a grow-op, but doesn't have a green thumb and his plants are dying...) Anyway, things are already not going well for this guy when he's visited by a lawyer who tells him that based on all the sperm donations he made back in the late 80's, using only the name "Starbuck", he's fathered 533 children, 148 of whom have filed a class action lawsuit to force the clinic to divulge his identity.

In one of the implausible plot points (which honestly, you just slide) the lawyer hands him an envelope with a profile and photo of each of the 148 young adults he's fathered who want to meet him, and after realizing some of them turned out well (the first is a famous pro-soccer player) he decides to visit (stalk) more of them and be like a guardian angel to as many of them as he can.

Of course, it doesn't go how he plans, but what enfolds is just so funny and so sweet... And Patrick Huard is beyond hot. These photos don't do him justice... You really need to see him in his soccer shorts to fully appreciate the hotness. ;)

Okay, here's a photo I found of him, but not from this movie... Are you getting it now?

The film is in French with subtitles but so worth that tiny bit of extra effort. It's really, really funny. I have no idea how easy it will be to track this one down. only lists release dates for France and Belguim right now, later this year... Looks like it screened in Quebec last summer...

But if this one comes to a theater near you that plays foreign language films, it's seriously worth checking out.

If a movie is really funny, I think I can forgive some implausible developments... like court cases happening almost over night... How about you? How many "mistakes" can a movie or book make before you're done with it?


Eileen said...

I can forgive a certain number of mistakes, but it depends on how much they mean to me.

If anyone has a brain tumor in a book, movie or TV show, I am out of there. Either they get it right and I'm devastated or they get it wrong and I'm furious.

Play loosey goosey with a police investigation? I'll let it ride.

Anonymous said...

I've heard a little about the movie, but now I have to see it.
love that is was so unexpected.
Did you see the Grace Kelly exhibit?

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, I'm sure you're right that it's hard to let things slide if they're your area of expertise or you have a personal reason to care... I know doctors hate medical shows and lawyers hate law shows...

This one had problems like: I need money. Fast. I'll sue someone. Because the legal system is always fast.. LOL.

Sinead, I think you'd enjoy it. Maybe I was just in the right mood, but I laughed out loud -- a lot.

The Grace Kelly thing, on the other hand, was slightly underwhelming. I'm glad I didn't pay... (I'm a member, so I can see the exhibits for free.)

The only good part was her dresses... It was kind of cool to see not only old costumes (that coverup from High Society!) but also some personal things next to photos of her wearing them... Her wedding dresses, the outfit from her engagement photo, a bunch of magazine covers...

But I <3 fashion. As do you. :)

Stephanie Doyle said...

Ooohh. Grace Kelly's wedding dress. I would love to see that.

As for mistakes it's hit or miss. Sometimes I let them go just because I'm enjoying everything else so much.

I was rewatching last season's final episode of Downton Abby and the scene where the maid "because she thinks she's going to get fired" leaves soap under the bathtub while the lady is in the tub.

And we all know if there is soap on the floor a woman getting out of the tub will slip on it. And of course if she's pregnant that will instantly cause her to miscarry.

Maybe it's me - but I'm always very careful and look where I'm stepping when I get out of the bathtub.

But I loved all the rest so much you just have to shrug.

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