At the movies

Patrick Huard talks being a dad over and over again in ‘Starbuck’


The money moment in the French-Canadian dramatic comedy Starbuck is set in a hotel conference room. More than 140 young people, co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit aimed at revealing who the sperm donor was who fathered them all, have gathered for a pep-talk and lawsuit update.

And unbeknownst to them, sitting in the crowd is the befuddled 42-year-old slacker/butcher-shop deliveryman, David Wozniak, the anonymous donor who would prefer to remain anonymous.

“I wanted to show how overwhelmed David was and show that overwhelmed feeling shifting into pride,” says Patrick Huard, who plays David. “He’s proud of seeing all those kids together, working toward something. That moment David changes, from a man in shock to a man overcome with pride and emotion. It must be stunning, to live through something like that. It’s one thing to know that you’re the father of all these kids. But to see them all together?”

That’s the moment viewers either go along with Starbuck — which takes its title (David’s code name with the sperm bank) from a prolific and famous Canadian breeding bull — embracing the film’s “bleeding heart humanity” (Wall Street Journal) or dismissing its “twee preposterousness.” (New York Daily News).

And co-writer / director Ken Scott knows it.

“We wanted to stretch the reality as far as we could in writing it,” Scott says. “We gave David 150 or so kids. The number was great for comedy, but are we stretching reality too much? And then, weeks later, the news came out that a guy had had 250 kids this way. Then, a guy in the UK turns out to have had 500.”

Starbuck became a Canadian sensation and has been a hit wherever it has traveled. That’s why Hollywood has already remade the film. In French with subtitles, the film is currently playing at the Coral Gables Art Cinema through Thursday, then again Monday through May 9 (for advance tickets go to

The Delivery Man, with Vince Vaughn in the role Huard originated, comes out this fall, again with Scott writing and directing.

Huard, known as the Canadian Tom Hanks, found much to love in a character who grows up in a hurry, thanks to fatherhood times 533. David anonymously tries to meet various kids. He takes on the role of “guardian angel” in their lives. And then he realizes they need more than that. Huard sees David not just as an arrested development case study but as representative of men who need to rediscover their place in parenting.

“There are qualities in people that are undervalued, I think. Some of us have the gift of being able to love a lot of people. David has a lot of heart. Even if he doesn’t say or do the right thing, you sense that his heart is working its way toward the right place.

“Men see problems as in need of solutions. But a lot of guys realize that the main thing a dad should be is being there — being present while you’re looking for a solution. That’s what David is going through, this understanding that he needs to care, to be there.”

Roger Moore

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

Michael Franit

    In concert

    Michael Franti & Spearhead bring Soulshine Tour to Boca Raton

    Usually, when lead singers of rock bands shout to the crowd “Are you feeling good?!” they don’t mean it in a holistic or spiritual way. But that might change at the Soulshine Tour Featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, which hits Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton on Tuesday.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Piper Perabo ties the knot

    Mission accomplished: Piper Perabo is a married woman.

  • Dozens treated for illness at Keith Urban concert

    MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) – Authorities say several dozen people were treated for alcohol-related illnesses at a weekend Keith Urban concert in Massachusetts.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category