Movie review: New ‘dad’ Vince Vaughn grows up in ‘Delivery Man’

MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICENovember 22, 2013 

Film Review Delivery Man

Yo, Vince: Just remember, it’s the women who are supposed to gain weight during pregnancy. Zing!

  • DELIVERY MAN

    ••1/2

    Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language. Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders. Director: Ken Scott. Running time: 105 minutes. Theaters: Edwards 22 and Edwards 9 in Boise, Edwards 14 and Edwards 12 in Nampa, Majestic 18 and Village Cinema in Meridian.

“Delivery Man” is a Vince Vaughn comedy about an irresponsible oaf who discovers that his sperm-donations-for-money years resulted in 533 kids he never knew he had.

As he learns this news — that “his” kids are reaching out to break the anonymity of his donations, just as his “You’re too immature for me” girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) tells him she’s pregnant — we have the makings of a charming “Time to grow up and be responsible” comedy.

Which is exactly what “Delivery Man” manages.

To play David, the impulsive meat truck driver, Vaughn tones down the manic patter. David is the guy his dad (Andrzej Blumenfeld) and butcher siblings can never count on. He’s always late, always letting people down, always trying to get rich quick through some scheme. How many books on hydroponic gardening does he need to run a pot farm in his Brooklyn apartment? That sort of thing. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs when the scary lawyer from the fertility clinic shows up.

“Yo no soy David Wozniak,” David insists. To no avail. Mistakes were made, his seed spread further than he ever imagined, and now the offspring are suing to find their “father.”

He needs a lawyer. Slovenly, overwhelmed father-of-four Brett (Chris Pratt) is his pal, and his last hope.

And then David makes the fateful decision to look at the profiles of the kids suing him, to look them up and stumble, anonymously, into their lives.

“Delivery Man,” based on the more charming French-Canadian comedy “Starbuck,” takes us on a roller-coaster ride through the lives of kids thriving and struggling.

The story plays up David’s innate good-heartedness, and happy accidents allow him to make a difference in their lives, even in a drop-in dad sense. But he also gets a taste of the tough side of parenting.

Vaughn is at his most appealing here, even if that robs the film of many potential laughs. The supporting cast is a bit skimpy on comedy charisma, which happens in films where you spend all your money on your star.

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