Starbucking

"Good"

Starbucking Review


If you're a fan of "oddly enough" type news stories, you've probably heard of the guy who's trying to visit every Starbucks in the world. He's known only as Winter, and he looks like any listless twentysomething you'd see in a major downtown city. There's no real reason for his quest -- now 10 years and thousands of store visits under his belt -- and spending 73 minutes of time as Bill Tangeman documents some of that time makes that abundantly clear. Winter isn't a madman, but his adventure is one of the most pointless exercises man has ever attempted.

Tangeman tries with all his might to find the soul of Winter in Starbucking. We're treated to the minutaie of his task (which requires he drink one coffee of at least "sample size" at each store, and only company-owned stores count). He counts his pennies. He sleeps in his car. He really has no job aside from going to Starbucks and begging for freebies. People take his picture. He complains about signing autographs. Once in a while he's on TV or the radio. He even landed a free trip to London... where he drank more coffee.

But why? Winter confesses that he doesn't even think Starbucks has the best coffee on earth, but it's his views on mankind that come across as truly frightening: a lot of mumbo-jumbo about how he doesn't feel the struggle to survive is important any more, and that admittedly "meaningless" tasks like his are just as important as anything else someone might do. You just can't buy that kind of naivete any more.

While Winter may be willful in his ignorance, his journey does at least have some moments that merit our attention. His attempt to break his record of visiting 28 stores in one day is almost nauseating as we see what that much coffee does to his body. His inability to maintain even the most basic of relationships is saddening, and his obsession over his finances would make Warren Buffett proud.

And yet there's no getting around the fact that Winter is, in the nicest possible way, a fool. His faux existentialism is embarassing, and his quest is growing more impossible by the week (if for no other reason than Starbucks opens an average of six new stores every day). Winter could do this until he dies and he'll never visit them all. Undoubtedly he knows this, but he keeps on with this task nonetheless. We can ask why all we want, but in the end it basically comes down to the fact that the guy's a kid who just doesn't want to grow up. Maybe for his next act he can get a job at Starbucks. I wonder if they'd hire him.

The DVD includes deleted scenes.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 73 mins

In Theaters: Monday 20th March 2006

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bill Tangeman

Producer: Bill Tangeman

Starring: Winter as Himself, Frank Edward Nora as Himself, Howard Wen as Himself

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