Sunday, March 31, 2013

Movie Review: Starbuck - He Fathered 533 Kids...

The following is a post I just left on the Facebook group "Donor Conceived Offspring, Siblings, Parents":

Hello everyone. I am a dad to two children conceived via DI. For years I wrote a blog about just that and occasionally still post there. Last night I went to see the French Canadian film Starbuck From the trailer I expected it to be in movie terms a farce, and point of it were just that. 

It is a cute film and while the plot does involve the desire of 142 DC offspring trying to learn Starbuck's identity the film focuses more on the view of Starbuck and his attempts to act as "dad" while not giving up his true identity. I don't want to give away too much of what happens as it is a very sweet movie. Unrealistic perhaps but it does demonstrate that familial bonds develope in a lot of different ways. One scene where Starbuck does make a statement to his "children / offspring" is quite poignant and leads to several succeeding events.

Years ago as a non-biological dad I may have been threatened by the idea of my kids meeting their donor. I don't believe I am anymore but as they are still young it is unclear whether they will have any desire to meet him much less pursue a relationship. In the movie the feelings of the young adult children about their social parent was handled well, if not perhaps quickly, as it was not the point of the story or adding to the basic comedy that was the genre of this film.

We have seen a lot of sperm donor movies over the last few years most with happy scripted endings and this one does not break from the pattern. Most have dealt with the mother ending up, inadvertently with the actual donor. Others have been just as controverted. This ending was satisfying and cute. In the scheme of things it may not add anything to the debates we all have on this topic and our lives but for a couple of hours it is innocent fun (and at points very sweet) and allows us to feel good.

It should be started the movie opens with a totally unneeded scene of Starbuck in the clinic trying to donate. The typical jokes and his "trying" which we did not need to see.  Should have been edited out.  It is probably the only scene I had an issue with and one I would not let young children see. 

As with all movie reviews, and commentary on this topic so close to home, for all of us I expect there will be contrary opinions and I am open to hear them. What is your opinion of this movie and others of what has become a sub-genre all on its own?