Delivery Man stars Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt. It’s written/directed by Ken Scott, is a remake of Scott’s Starbuck and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language.
David Wozniak (Vaughn) works as a delivery man for his father’s meat shop. He’s also in debt, owing thousands of dollars to some shady people. Then one day he learns that the sperm donations he made in the early nineties have made him the biological father to 533 children; 142 of which are filing a class action lawsuit against the sperm bank to reveal his identity. Wanting to do the right thing, David seeks out each of his children to act as their guardian angel (of sorts).
Delivery Man is advertised as a comedy when, actually, it’s a heartwarming drama that just so happens to star funnyman Vaughn. So while laughs are had, they’re few and far between. But, that’s okay! Think Vaughn’s The Break-Up without all of the uncomfortable yelling scenes. It’s a silly premise that, in other hands, could have turned out badly. However, the end result with Scott’s film is a genuine semi-tearjerker.
Rarely does Vaughn play the straight man but, lest we forget, he wasn’t always that guy from Wedding Crashers. He’s a good actor and I’m glad he hasn’t become a one-note joke, like his buddy Will Ferrell. Pratt adds his trademark Parks and Recreation hilarity to the film, but with a touch of smart. I mean, he’s not dumb like his character Andy Dwyer. And we get a few good scenes with SNL’s Bobby Moynihan, who just can’t stop bragging about how great his newborn baby’s poops are. Moynihan is comic gold.
There are a few flaws, however, but none that will detract from your experience in watching the film. Namely it’s the chemistry between Vaughn and Smulders, which is practically non-existent. I didn’t buy for one second that their characters had any sort of sexual relationship, let alone a meaningful one built on more than just sex.
Also, the bit with the loan sharks and owing money just felt too cliche and it, of course, wrapped up all too easily come the end of the film. Other small complaints would include the run time, which felt long when it wasn’t, and I would have liked more character development in his children. Some of their stories were interesting, yet their surface barely scratched. The content, here, could have spanned multiple movies.
Delivery Man is a good film that’s surely going to be overlooked this holiday season because of poor marketing and mighty competitors, like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Hell, the only reason I saw it today is because Disney’s Frozen was sold out everywhere I went. I did only visit two theaters before giving up my search, but still.