Saturday movie review: 'Delivery Man'

Delivery Man

In DELIVERY MAN, which opened in theaters yesterday, Vince Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a simple yet good-hearted and, truth be told, sort of irresponsible fella who just finds out he's a father — to 533 children. Children whom David never knew about til now because he was instrumental in their being only through a period of prolific sperm donoring 20 years before.

Early in the film, David finds out he's being sued by 142 of those now-adult kids thanks to a mix-up on the part of the sperm donor company. David's identity was supposed to remain anonymous forever after making his donations. No more. Hilarity as well as heartfelt moments prevail as those kids band together in hopes of outing and connecting with Daddy.

The timing of the paternity nightmare couldn't be worse for David, as he just learned he's becoming a daddy once again. This time, though, he's fathered a child he knows about with a woman he loves and to whom he's trying to prove his worthiness as a productive member of society as well as a responsible, committed father.

As all things Vince Vaughn does of late, the film is funny. And it has heart. David tries to do the right thing despite all the wrong things he's done in his life up to this point. As he connects with various kids — without letting them know he's their father — David makes a difference in their lives, but more importantly, he makes a difference in his own.

"It's a great premise that is a little bit crazy," says Vaughn in press materials on the film, "but underneath it all the movie is about family, about connection and about finding your way, so it has a lot of heart to it. The movie deals with real issues that families go through, what people go through in life trying to find their way and be successful, in a very authentic way. But there’s also an underlying optimism, warmth and love to the film that’s very powerful and funny."

Delivery Man
Cobie Smulders and Vince Vaughn in DELIVERY MAN.

I laughed out loud quite a bit while watching DELIVERY MAN, as did Jim and the rest of the audience when we screened the movie a few months ago. Soon after our viewing, there was another opportunity to preview the film, and my daughter Andrea and her boyfriend, Matt (who looks surprisingly similar to Vince Vaughn, I swear), saw it and found it quite funny as well.

Vince Vaughn has had an impressive run of funny flicks. DELIVERY MAN (thankfully) doesn't include the over-the-top hijinks of some of his most recent funny films. And though I enjoyed DELIVERY MAN, I most enjoy the Vince Vaughn of his early career, when he starred in two of my favorite films of his: 1998's CLAY PIGEONS with Joaquin Phoenix and A COOL, DRY PLACE with Monica Potter.

Delivery Man
Chris Pratt and Vince Vaughn in DELIVERY MAN.

Other DELIVERY MAN cast members include Chris Pratt as Brett, David's buddy and wanna-be lawyer, and Cobie Smulders as Emma, the woman whom David most wants to impress and earn the part of co-parent.

I enjoyed DELIVERY MAN but would be remiss if I didn't mention what I saw as a fatal flaw of the film while watching it and soon after — though I've recently come to terms with the fact the perceived flaw might be just seen through my own flawed and admittedly overprotective parent lens. The flaw? I had trouble getting past the fact the 142 young adults suing David (Vaughn) over the paternity issues never seemed to have the parents who raised them in the picture. As children born of expensive sperm-donor procedures, they do have parents. Parents who put out big bucks to have them. So why aren't those parents involved enough in their lives as young adults to show up in court with them? Like I said, though, no one else seems to have had that conflict when viewing DELIVERY MAN, so the film flaw apparently isn't as fatal as I first thought.

DELIVERY MAN, a DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment presentation, is rated PG-13 and is based on the original screenplay “Starbuck,” written by Ken Scott and Martin Petit. The film opened in theaters nationwide yesterday, November 22, 2013.

Find out more about the film by following DELIVERY MAN on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

And just for fun, Dreamworks provided the following breakdown of just what it would mean take if David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) were to treat his 533 kiddos to a movie and concessions:

Delivery Man infographic

dreamworks logo

Disclosure: I was invited to a free screening of this film prior to its release. Graphics for this post provided by Dreamworks; opinions provided solely by me.

Today's question:

What are your favorite Vince Vaughn films?