I’ve had to sit through this soggy-brained premise twice in one year, but most of you will have to do it only once if at all necessary. Delivery Man is the comedy remake of a French-Canadian film called “Starbuck” from earlier this year, directed by the same guy Ken Scott, and only slightly more preferable due to casting. Vince Vaughn (deadbeat-mode as David Wozniak), in a sensational and equally formulaic story, plays a sperm bank father to 533. A lawsuit hits him revealing that 142 of his biological children want to meet him. David is handed an envelope containing profiles and photos of his offspring, and he becomes curious to meet some of them anonymously. He doesn’t reveal his identity, but heck, while he’s at it he likes these kids of his!
Just like with Patrick Huard of “Starbuck,” Vaughn has some likeable charisma. In fact, when I reviewed Huard’s performance before, I said, “He has the best qualities of Tony Danza, Gerard Butler and Vince Vaughn in one.” Vaughn is Vaughn, hang-loose and insouciant, a little too nonchalant about his acting, at the same time I have a feeling Vaughn enjoyed doing a comedy full of heart. He has eyes for everybody around him, as if he’s regarding his co-stars with immense respect. I guess that’s professional acting.
David doesn’t want to embrace responsibility with any of the kids, because he has large debts of his own, and so how would he ever be able to care for any number of them? Loan sharks harassing him are shown less than the first film. The emphasis is on the poignant and sappy scenes of David meeting his kids.
I prefer “Delivery Man” over “Starbuck” for a possibly shallow reason – the late teens and early twenty-something kids are less ugly this time out, even appealing. Britt Robertson playing one of the adult children, from TV’s “Under the Dome,” is a very expressive actress. I have to grant that this movie has many, many heartrending moments after that. Some will gush over it, maybe feel a lump in your throat. But for me, and probably more than few, it gets insipid watching David meet child after child off the anonymous roster.
Wait until he meets all of them at once. How will David talk his way out of that room? Well, with sitcom dialogue he will. See, it’s the sub-sappy TV-level writing that makes it too much for me to take. That’s my problem with it.
Chris Pratt plays David’s lawyer and friend, Bobby Moynihan has a token friend role, and Cobie Smulders is David’s untrusting girlfriend.
“Starbuck” and “Delivery Man” are inspired by the true story of an American case where a donor fathered 150.
103 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
COMEDY / POIGNANCY OVERLOAD / SATURDAY NIGHT HA-HA