This is the sort of movie that critics were invented to despise: a crowd-pleasing, oafish, wildly implausible pile of sentimental dreck. But just like its main character, a French-Canadian meat-delivery man named David Wozniak (Patrick Huard, looking a bit like Mel Gibson on steroids and estrogen pills), it’s too stupid to hate. It’d be like kicking a golden retriever because it licked your face. Wozniak is an idiot straight out of Dostoevsky: a saintly, muscle-bound naif whose main achievement in life is that he managed to father 533 children after a two-year binge of sperm donation 20 years earlier. When 142 of Wozniak’s test-tube children band together in a class-action lawsuit to learn his identity, he thinks the kids might be disappointed in him, so he fights them in civil court while stalking them through the streets of Montreal. He sneaks in on his progeny’s drug overdoses, offers terrible advice, cons his way into hospitals and skulks around uninvited on their dates. Even as Wozniak’s actions descend into a sort of pouting psychopathy, he and Starbuck
maintain the charm of a child who lacks self-control but who nonetheless loves you very much. As it stands, when Starbuck
ended with the most blatantly pandering scene I’ve witnessed since Free Willy
, I didn’t really mind. It’s OK. I know that Scott means well, and that he’s doing the best he can. It’s like a child’s essay about ice cream, and how good it is. Who could hate a thing like that?