Vince Vaughn is no stranger to stretching his wings by infusing comedy with drama. He’s been doing it for years, so it should be no surprise that the actor excels in his new role in Delivery Man.
Vaughn plays David, a man who is making a living as a delivery guy for his family’s meat business in Manhattan. He has a girlfriend in Emma (Cobie Smulders), and she wishes he would take life a little more seriously. See, she’s pregnant. But as you learn in the Delivery Man trailer, she’s not the only person who needs the paternal instincts of David.
Years ago, David donated hundreds of times to a fertility clinic, and in a case of the clinic not being the most honest, his donations resulted in 533 children. Now there is a class action suit where they are demanding the confidentiality clause be dropped so that they can discover who their “real” father is.
Delivery Man is based on the French Canadian comedy Starbuck. Ken Scott wrote and directed the film, and he also helmed the French language version. This film is much more of a vehicle for Vaughn than the original was for its star, and yet it still carries many of the same themes as the original. There’s the fact that after several group meetings, these kids (young adults) all learn that they may not learn who their father is, but in fact have gotten 522 siblings through the process.
But, this is a Hollywood movie, and even though Scott is the helmer, it still has many of those classic Tinseltown moments that a heartwarming comedy has to have... and unfortunately a few feel predictable.
Vaughn is still in his element humorously, and it’s nice to see a role that fits his ever-expanding thespian desires. He commands practically every scene in the film, even stealing scenes from his lawyer-best friend Brett (played by the always awesome Chris Pratt). There is a family element with David’s inner circle story with his work in the family meat business, particularly between his brother (Bobby Moynihan’s Aleksy) and their onscreen father. But, much of that feels kind of forced.
What does work well is how Vaughn’s David intermingles with some of these “kids” from his sperm donations. Particularly effective is his relationship with Kristen (Britt Robertson). The young actress has great screen chemistry with Vaughn and in many ways she elevates his game in some touching and even harrowing scenes.
We adore Smulders, but feel she is underused in Delivery Man as the long-suffering girlfriend, who frankly puts up with way more from Vaughn’s David than we believe she would. But Pratt is astounding and even gained 60 pounds for the role of a man who you would think is a schlub, but is in truth… anything but.
Some have said that the storyline involving children seeking out their true father is not believable, and even insulting. They are products of a parent or parents who loved them and brought them into the world. The argument is that how dare filmmakers say that these children are not complete without knowing who their biological father truly is. I disagree with that, because simply… if one knew there was a biological parent out there, wouldn’t curiosity get the best of you, even if you were from a happy home?
Our Delivery Man review finds that the story feels pretty well put together and there are as many laughs as there are “ahhhs” from heartwarming moments. Movie Fanatic quite enjoyed the ride, and for those of us who are parents, after witnessing the film, you just might hug your kids a little tighter after seeing it.