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Ellen Sterling sterling

Movies: Delivery Man

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

David Wozniak — the title character of Delivery Man ——is an amiable slacker who just cannot seem to get his life together. He works in his father’s meat business — he drives the delivery truck — and has a girlfriend, Emma (Cobie Smulders), who wants his to be more ambitious. Brett (Chris Pratt), is his best friend and attorney who tries to keep him in constant contact with reality.

Emma and David (Cobie Smulders and Vince Vaughn) think they’re expecting one child. They are very wrong.
Photo © 2013 – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But David has an almost unreal problem. Years ago he was a sperm donor and donated hundreds of times, enough for him to be the biological father of 53 children. Now, 142 of them have gotten together to file a lawsuit to force him to reveal his identity. This is, by the way, supposedly based on the true story of a man who, like David, fathered 533 children.

Delivery Man is adapted from Starbuck, a 2011 French-Canadian film written by Ken Scott and Martin Petit and directed by Scott. They repeat the work here and, despite naysayers who didn’t want Hollywood to get its hands on a charming independent film, Scott and Petit have managed to turn out another charming movie.

Vince Vaughn is a revelation here. There’s no hint of his usual fast-talking wheeler-dealer persona. Here he’s by turn baffled, frightened and very, very nice. It’s a new kind of performance from him.

While he’s trying to cope with the advent of hundreds of progeny, David’s girlfriend informs him she’s pregnant and doesn’t think he’s responsible enough to be in the child’s life.

Meanwhile, he gets a list of his children and begins to stalk them. He finds out about their lives, talks to some of them and even interacts most lovingly with a severely disabled child. In addition to the lovely performance from Vaughn, Smulders and Pratt are standouts.

Delivery Man is a most pleasant film, a fine way to pass an hour and 45 minutes.

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