Romy Shiller

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Delivery Man

In Film, review on December 23, 2013 at 11:25 am


About: Delivery Man is a 2013 American comedy film directed by Ken Scott, produced by DreamWorks Pictures, and starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, and Cobie Smulders. The film was released by Touchstone Pictures on November 22, 2013. It is a remake of Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film Starbuck.

This is hardly a cinematic masterpiece, right? I certainly did not expect brilliance. I wanted something light and entertaining. I did not expect originality or difference – A metaphorical Spring Break for adults. Without getting drunk or topless. What did I get? Well, it was not raunchy and even though it is a comedy there are serious moments. It is important to show that an able-bodied man can have a disabled son and that a straight man can have a gay son. Yes, it was certainly escapist for me but it did move beyond ‘fluff.’ It was a dramady more than a comedy.

Plot [spoilers]: David Wozniak is a hapless deliveryman for his family’s butcher shop, pursued by thugs whom he owes $80,000. His girlfriend Emma is pregnant with his child. One day, David returns from work to find a lawyer from the sperm bank (where he gave donation during his student years) who tells him he had fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have joined class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of “Starbuck”, the alias he had used.

David’s friend and lawyer Brett represents him as he tries to keep the records sealed. He provides David with profiles of each party to the lawsuit: David stalksthem, finding moments for random acts of kindness. David decides to identify himself, but after the thugs assault him, he agrees with his lawyer to sue the sperm bank for damages. He wins the lawsuit: he receives $200,000 and keeps his identity a secret.

David has regrets, but after his father pays off his debt, David reveals his identity on Facebook. He goes to Emma’s house and finds that she is going into premature labor. At the hospital, his baby is born, he proposes to Emma, and many of the children show up to see him.

David wrestles with the consequences of his actions. Ethics is definitely a thing here. Should he reveal his identity to his children or not? David claims that he always makes the wrong decision. What will he do and will it be the wrong decision?

I was with someone who mentioned that this would make a good television series. I agree. There are various scenes where he plays guardian angel to his kids. These make nice scenes or potential episodes.

We know Cobie Smulders from the television show How I met Your Mother. She plays the funny fiancée of ‘wait for it’ Barney. Here she’s a lot more serious. Glad that she’s taking the opportunity to show another side. She talks about her co-tar in the film; “Vince talks so fast, and he thinks so fast but he’s very inclusive. He’s got a great vibe and he’s the sweetest guy.”

Vince Vaughn – I’m unconvinced about his acting style in general. Sure, he’s a cutie and a draw for this film but he’s always the same, really. There is something calming about sameness but I might not expect big things from him. He doesn’t stretch rather, he plays to his limitations. He usually plays immature characters in films such as Anchorman, Old School, The Internship,The Wedding Crashers … “This was a unique performance for me, a return to Swingers or other stuff I did earlier, because this was very grounded,” Vaughn says. Key here “a return.” Vaughn is not bad just kind of repetitive.

A sperm bank is a resource for many women. David ‘the great masturbator’ probably donates to financially support his dying mother’s wish to have her dream vacation. It is implied but not made clear. Anyhow, my feeling is that the film needs to moralize. Personally, his reasons do not matter to me.

I do not have much to say about this film – and maybe that speaks volumes. The film was not controversial, not disturbing, not horrible, not provoking…

The ideas in this film are current and topical. This film is alright. It has a message, is entertaining and not heavy or violent at all. So if you want a distraction see it or rent it at your leisure.