I watch quite a few movies, I’m always on the lookout for something unique and entertaining. Despite Vince Vaughn having a long history of delivering both unique and entertaining movies, I rarely enjoy them this much. This movie was based off of a novel called “Starbuck”.
The premise here is that the protagonist has “donated” sperm 693 times (which resulted in 533 pregnancies) and made over $24,000 in the process under the pseudonym “Starbuck”. Oddly enough, this isn’t a plot hole, donations (despite the definition of the word) tend to result in monetary reward…which was more baffling than the plot hole I thought I’d stumbled upon but has absolutely nothing to do with this review. It’s just something I found odd.
Back to the review.
I absolutely loved the premise. It’s so ridiculous that you just can’t help but smile every time someone throws out the number of donations, the resulting children or the children who stepped forward to meet their father. David (Vince Vaughn) is a lovable loser who sold sperm as a scam, yet ends up coming face to face with the prospect of actual fatherhood with his on and off girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders). When presented with the petitioners who want him to come forward, or the sperm clinic to release David’s name, his best friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) presents him with an envelop with a profile for each of the children who have stepped forward.
Obviously, this movie wouldn’t be very amusing if the children were young. Each of them appear to be in their early to mid-twenties and like most young adults, each of them are finding their way. David sets off first, innocently enough, to help each of them out. But after a dozen or so, he happens upon a sort of support group for “Starbuck’s Kids”.
The way the author gets around the legality of “Starbucks” was one of those side jokes I enjoyed.
This support group exposes David to his many children and also begins to sow the seeds of his change. He ends up at a “family reunion” of sorts playing the part of the adoptive father of a physically handicaps “Starbuck Kid”, and it forever changes his perceptions of himself, his role in their lives and his role with his girl friend and their unborn child.
You can expect some tear-jerking moments of course, along with some ironic and dark humor. Ultimately though, I really felt like the movie delivered on a lot of levels. I’m glad that I stumbled across it, but slightly irritated that I wasn’t aware of it at all until I did.
The acting was fantastic, especially Vince Vaughn (David), Cobie Smulders (Emma), Chris Pratt (Brett) and Britt Robertson (Kristen). The cinematography was top notch, which is saying a lot because there were (as you would imagine) quite a lot of extras and wide angle shots.
Overall I thought it was a fantastic movie with a great story and solid acting…even if Chris Pratt’s fake gut was brutally obvious. A minor annoyance that didn’t distract at all from enjoying the movie.