It’s the holiday season, and films are aiming to tug at our heartstrings and bring us closer together. DreamWorks’ Delivery Man arrives just in time to give audiences a tale about finding family in the most unexpected places.
- Director: Ken Scott
- Writer: Ken Scott (Remake of Starbuck written by Martin Petit)
- Cast: Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Simon Delaney, Bobby Moynihan, Dave Patten, Britt Robertson
- Cinematography by: Eric Edwards
- Original Music by: Jon Brion
David (Vaughn) is an affable guy who means well but can’t get his life together. Whether he’s swimming in debt or accumulating parking tickets, he can’t seem to catch a break. Just when his family and pregnant girlfriend Emma (Smulders) have had enough of his antics, David learns that he’s the father of 522 children from his sperm donation days. 142 of these now adult children decide to file a lawsuit to unveil his identity. Despite the warnings of his lawyer/best friend Brett (Pratt) to not read the files on his kids, David gives in to temptation. He embarks on a journey to get to know them. He becomes their guardian angel and finds out what kind of man he really is.
- Unexpected Story: While the story seems unrealistic, it can be considered a tall tale with a simple lesson to teach about family. This incident brings together kids who are looking for a father but in the process find family amongst each other. As a viewer, you’ll become attached to their plight and root for them.
- The Acting: Vaughn is known for his knucklehead roles but here he shines as an Average Joe who truly wants to do good. In a goofy way he’s still that hard-ass you don’t mess with and it shows. At times, each kid (or rather young adult) really steals the show away from the leads. While they don’t get too in depth with each individual story, their struggles are identifiable and you want them to win.
- The Comedy: The things that happen to David because of bad luck are hilarious because they’re relatable. You can understand parking somewhere for a second and returning to see your car getting a ticket or towed. Hopefully, no one can relate to discovering hundreds of kids you never knew existed. But this movie acknowledges its absurdity with witty one-liners that are pretty self-aware. Pratt has some fantastic material that he effortlessly delivers with impeccable timing. The side story with his family while he practiced David’s defense is hilarious as we got to see him as an endearing father.
- Smulders: What’s really interesting is that David has a girlfriend who learns that she’s pregnant (without knowing about his other 500 children). But she doesn’t demand for him to provide for her or is submissive in any way. Smulders really nails the part of Emma, as a realistic modern woman who’s also a no nonsense cop. Emma challenges David and tells him that she could raise the child independently. She doesn’t tell him to get his life together for her and the baby. She tells him that she can take full responsibility and if he wants to be a part of his child’s life, he’ll have to figure his out.
- Guardian Angel: David appears as his kids’ guardian angel when they need him the most. He saves one from overdosing and takes over a cafe shift so another can go on an audition. While it makes sense for some to work out, they all miraculously do. That was a tad too much. It would have been character building for a couple instances to fail. Parents can’t always fix everything but they can give support when things don’t work out.
Delivery Man is a good movie that’s worth checking out. It’s not holiday-centric but has a lot of heart. It drives home the idea that complete strangers seeking connections can find them in each other. Plus, Vaughn is great as a hapless guy who wants to prove to his family that he can be the person they need him to be.
The Rating: 8/10
Delivery Man opens in theaters November 22.
Will you be seeing Delivery Man this weekend?