IN 2011, Ken Scott and Martin Petit made a French-Canadian film about a guy who, in late adolescence, “wrestled the dragon” and, trading as Starbuck, sold the result to a firm whose business is artificial insemination.
In the American version, Vince Vaughn plays David, delivering meat for the family business, owing big bucks to some heavy guys, in a relationship with female cop Emma (Cobie Smulders), best pals with Brett (Chris Pratt) who wishes he was a lawyer but hasn’t qualified and urges David never to procreate because it’s a never-ending chore.
Then David learns that his sperm has led to 533 births and 143 young adults have begun court action to discover their biological father.
The film took a long time to reach that point, bringing me close to walking out. Then it began to have purpose as David and Brett enter uncharted territory, not to oppose the claim but to identify the claimants. David is a soft touch. He wants to do good. He meets anonymously with a selection of his progeny and discovers an epiphany that becomes an obsession. Simultaneously, Emma announces her pregnancy.
There are worse ideas for a screenplay which avoids several areas that could have really muddied the dramatic waters. It makes no contact with those 533 dads who have done the hard yards of parenting. Intellectually disabled Ryan provides the film’s only real challenging moment. The rest mostly follows a path of sweetness and light to a low-credibility predictable yet not totally disagreeable outcome.
At Hoyts and Dendy