An affable underachiever finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them file a lawsuit to reveal his identity.
Year 2, Film #41
THE REVIEW: Some comedies can make you laugh but not all can make you feel good by the end. Delivery Man is much more than just a good comedy; it’s also a film that has a big emotional impact. It’s not every day you hear a story about a man who sired 533 children through sperm donations, and the reason why is it is somewhat ridiculous and nonsensical. But at the same time you have a lot of fun watching this movie and seeing the joy that David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) spreads through everyone that he touches.
I’ve been a big fan of Vince Vaughn’s even in films I didn’t particularly care for and his performance in Delivery Man just adds to that list. A big part of this film is how his character comes across and the things he does to help his kids. David Wozniak is one of the most joyful people I’ve ever seen and he’s also one of the most generous and thoughtful as well. While the ongoing lawsuit which plays a big role in the film prevents David from identifying himself to his 533 children, he receives an envelope with a whole bunch of files on his kids. Against the advice of his friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt), David makes it his mission to meet and help all of his kids. There’s his daughter who he catches overdosing and brings her to the hospital, the son in the coffee shop who he lets borrow his truck to make an acting audition, and he gets a crowd of people to donate money to another son who is a street musician. He does all of this selflessly, just wanting to brighten their day and make their lives better. And, of course, all the while cracking jokes wherever he can — “No soy David Wozniak.”
As I said, the idea of someone producing 533 offspring through donations to a sperm bank is a bit ridiculous. The ridiculousness isn’t necessarily the problem per se. The slight issue I have with the film, mostly the story that drives the film, is that some parts just didn’t make sense. One of the biggest is the disclosure of information. One of the first scenes in the film is a lawyer from the fertility clinic giving David the files of the kids who are suing to learn his identity. I’m aware that in a trial, both sides must share all the evidence with the other side, but at that point, David wasn’t involved at all. Was the clinic defending him, or were they prosecuting him? I thought the kids were the ones prosecuting. And then there’s the issue of the source of David’s funds. Not only do we never find out why David owes a group of thugs $80,000 but we never really see that affect his life. Yes, the thugs do come and torture him and his father (Andrzej Blumenfeld) at one point but in the meantime, David’s still able to support his pregnant girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) and all his kids he goes to help. It’s as if he’s some mysterious benefactor, but, he’s $80,000 in debt himself. Again, it isn’t the ridiculousness of the story that’s at issue, it’s just that it presents a few unlikely and unexplained scenarios.
Overall. Delivery Man was just a good, entertaining, fun time in the theater. I wasn’t cracking up the whole time but I did find myself laughing quite a bit. The premise, while out of the ordinary and containing a few issues, worked extremely well and was definitely interesting to see how everything played out. A few of my predictions on how things would play out turned to be wrong and Delivery Man, while very much a traditional comedy, does have some unique elements to it that can take you by surprise. A good option if you’re just looking for a movie to go watch.
Delivery Man opens in theaters on Friday, November 22, 2013.
THE RATING: 4 out of 5