Tuesday, December 24, 2013

3+1 Short Paragraphs: Starbuck

2011, Ken Scott (Delivery Man) -- download

I am pretty much a softie these days. I wipe my eyes at coffee and iPhone commercials on a regular basis. I enjoy sentimental movies about lovey dovey stuff. OK, not these days. I was always like this. I was a sensitive 90s guy long before the 90s and will continue to be as it is no longer in vogue. I cannot apologize. And don't make fun of me, it will hurt my feelings.

Starbuck is a movie that made me continually smile and occasionally wipe my eyes. It is about a nice guy deciding to be a better man. It is about a guy with a supporting family who inherits an even larger extended family, basically over night. It is a movie all about familial love and responsibility and the rewards that come with it. It is unapologetically a movie for softies. I may not be a guy in touch with fatherhood but I could identify with the connection this man sought out. It was about choosing to love someone as that is your responsibility.

David Wozniak is a guy without much direction at the beginning of the movie. He works at his family butcher shop as a delivery guy, but not a very good one. He has a girlfriend but rarely seeks her out. His family is constantly upset at him ditching work and shirking responsibility. Then he discovers his serial sperm donating has sired hundreds of children, and 142 of them are suing the fertility clinic to know who their father is. This inspires David (known as Starbuck to the sperm bank) to find out who his kids are, and then to become their guardian angel and eventually their very very public father figure. He shifts his paradigm from only himself to the well-being of over a 100 young folks, and all without them really knowing who he is. Until the reveal.

Its not a really realistic movie. Wozniak's shift in attitude is literally over night. His capacity for love and understanding is mythic. That the kids just accept him, a random stranger who starts being nice to them, is a little unbelievable. But this is a movie for softies, where we love the interactions despite the lack of realism. Its also a very very enjoyable view of Montreal from the wrought iron stairs to the narrow, long apartments, reminding me of the ever so distinct character of that city. I wonder if they can keep the fresh, upbeat attitude in the English language / American remake of the movie, also directed by Scott, called Delivery Man?