Who knew that a movie about donating to a fertility clinic could not only be funny, but genuinely heart felt and emotional at the same time? It’s not exactly the easiest premise for a film to tackle, but here we are. ‘Delivery Man‘ stars Vince Vaughn as David Wozniak, a man who can’t quite seem to catch a break in his life. He continually faces problems with his family, his girlfriend, and even his job. All that goes into overdrive when David learns that a screw up at a fertility clinic he used to donate to causes him to be the father of 533 children. If that wasn’t enough, 142 have decided that they want to know who this man, who donated under the name “Starbuck”, is, and are suing to find out. David’s entire world is thrown upside down, but in the wake of it all, he’s able to find his true self, and what his life truly means.
Many may not realize that this film is actually a remake of a 2011 Canadian film, ‘Starbuck’, which is directed by this same film’s director, Ken Scott. It’s not very often that someone gets a chance to remake their own film, let alone at a big Hollywood studio with bigger Hollywood actors. Scott is a very lucky man, and he managed to land some of the most talented actors in the business for the new take on his original film. Vince Vaughn is wisely cast as David, an awkward, slightly lazy, but caring individual, which is very similar to some of the roles he’s played before. But Vaughn gets a chance to really dig into a new side of himself we don’t normally get to see, which is his dramatic side. It makes for a very compelling watch, and it’s great to really see him flexing his acting muscles here. Vaughn is naturally charismatic and funny, and even though David is a bit of a buffoon, you can’t help but love the character, especially watching him as he really discovers what the value of his life really is.
Cobie Smulders is good in the role of Emma, David’s caring, but emotionally exhausted girlfriend. It’s just too bad that she’s not given more to do in the film, because she and Vaughn play so well off each other here. But it’s really Chris Pratt who steals the show here as David’s best friend, and lawyer, Brett. Every scene that Pratt is in is absolute gold, and he outshines everyone around him. If you had told me a few years ago that the man who stars in ‘Parks & Rec’ was heading for superstardom, I would have shaken my head. But seeing him here, and knowing he leads not only next summer’s Marvel film, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but also in talks to lead Universal’s fourth ‘Jurassic Park’ film, ‘Jurassic World’, he has a big career ahead of him. He’s the perfect amount of funny and serious, and his characters always seem so well rounded and memorable, it’s great to see him getting the chance to show that off.
There’s honestly very little that’s really wrong with ‘Delivery Man’. It’s a very funny movie, with interesting characters, and a great story. But the thing that mucks up the film a bit is the sudden tonal changes throughout the film. Balancing drama and comedy can be tricky, and if it’s not handled accordingly it can throw off the viewer. This film falls into that every once in a while, sadly, going through David’s misadventures with his new found children, then moving more directly into the serious nature of his life with debts, problems, and the looming lawsuit. Sometimes the shifts aren’t incredibly noticeable, they don’t always stick the landing, and the movie suffers because of it. That doesn’t make the movie bad, far from it. This is honestly one of the most heartfelt, fun, and purely entertaining films to come out in recent memory. The movie is so enjoyable, and it’s really thanks to the cast, and Ken Scott’s script, that really makes it better than many of the comedies that come out throughout the year.
‘Delivery Man’ is a perfect film for the holiday season, and one that families can enjoy together. Anchored down by it’s excellent cast, led by a very likable Vince Vaughn, who are given a very fun and and heartfelt screenplay, the movie works really well. While it has a few faults, it’s nothing that ultimately hurts the film in the end and makes it any less enjoyable. It’s really Chris Pratt who steals the film though, and he’s definitely one to watch out for in the coming months. In the end, this is a just a wonderfully heartfelt film with lots of laughs, and a nice sprinkle of emotions that is definitely recommended viewing.