Top Banner

He Said, She Said Review Site
Delivery Man

Delivery Man

What She said:


I open my review with this disclaimer:  There is just something about Vince Vaughn’s face that irks me.  I mean, I just want to punch the dude most of the time.  And so any movie that he’s in will always be an uphill battle for me.  More often than not, it’s something that I can work past (e.g., Dodgeball).  But it’s not always easy, and so you’ll have to approach this review with a grain of salt.  That face…ugh.

Delivery Man is about David Wozniak, a 40-something year old world-class screw-up who discovers that he has fathered 533 children.  How is this possible, you may ask?  Well, he was a pretty loyal philanthropist to a local sperm bank back in his younger years.  In fact, he’s known to have donated 693 times and earned a sum of $24,255 through his charitable contributions.  David was relatively careful about what he did, choosing to remain confidential and being known only by the nickname Starbuck.  Let me pause here and just comment that the Battlestar Galactica fan in me thinks this moniker is awesome.

Ok, resume.  So David is happily minding his life—in debt to a tune of $80,000, working as a delivery man for his family’s butcher shop (which is shockingly horrible at), and trying to repair his relationship with his girlfriend, Emma, who, surprise, just found out she’s pregnant—when he finds out that he’s been named in a class action lawsuit involving 142 of his children.  Basically, they want to know who their daddy is, and they are challenging the confidentiality agreement that secures David’s anonymity.  David panics, which is to be understood, but he begins to become curious about his offspring.  Armed with a collection of profiles provided by the lawyer for the sperm bank, he starts to check-in on each of his kids.  He cannot help but become involved in their lives, even if it is moderately peripheral, and grows to genuinely care about their wellbeing.  David steps in here and there to have a positive impact on their lives, and when his case finally goes to trial, he even considers exposing his true identity. 

Delivery Man

However, David ultimately wins his case, and is awarded $200,000 in a countersuit.  David remains faced with a decision—he can  remain anonymous and never truly be an active part of his children’s lives, or he can step forward and reveal himself, but be forced to give up the $200,000 he was awarded.  There are big choices ahead for David.

So, let’s talk first about what I liked about this film.  It actually seems to have a bit of a heart, which is somewhat counterintuitive to what one typically thinks about Vince Vaughn’s characters.  David is giving it his all, but he just makes really bad decisions that ultimately have led to the situation that he’s currently in.  I did not particularly like Vince Vaughn, per my usual, but I did enjoy Chris Pratt’s performance as friend and lawyer Brett.  He provided much needed comic relief to a film that was otherwise not really that funny.

And that brings me to my number one gripe.  I was hoping for this film to be a comedy, and Amazon totally listed it as one in their description.  I guess this movie can be funny, at times, but it’s not really a true comedy, and not what you would expect from Vince Vaughn.  I pegged it as some sort of a goofy, fun film, but it’s way heavier than it markets itself as.  I mean, it’s not high-drama heavy, but there just aren’t that many jokes or laughs built in.  I would say that this film is way too sentimental, and just not of a high enough quality to be effective in that sense. 

Delivery Man is based on a Canadian comedy film called Starbuck, which I’ve never actually heard of before.  Rumor has it that Starbuck is a much better version of this story, and so I’m thinking about checking it out in the future.  I think that the premise of this movie has a lot of potential for the foundation of a memorable comedy/drama, but Delivery Man just did not execute it well enough.  The film got too wrapped up in the relationships at play, and did not have enough laughs to hold up its function as a comedy.  It’s not a bad movie, but just not as good as it clearly could be.

Thumbs half up.

Delivery Man

What He said:


David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is sort of a screw up. He pretty much always has been too. That is why, when in his 20s, he donated a ton of sperm in order to make some quick cash. $24, 255 to be exact, but who’s counting? That’s a lot of quality time with yourself. A lot.

David – now in his 40s – finds himself in trouble once again. He owes some bad people $80,000 in a couple of days or they are going to give him a pair of cement shoes. He is a delivery man for his family’s butcher shop, and horrible at his job by the way, and does not make the kind of money to pay off that kind of debt anytime soon. So when his strange past comes back to bite him in the ass, he and his lawyer think of a way to get the money.

So apparently the clinic where David made his donations is having some legal troubles. 142 of his 533 children (I told you he spent a lot of time with himself) are suing him for the right to know his identity. He signed confidentiality agreement with the sperm bank, so his friend and lawyer, Brett, says they should counter sue and he can use the money to pay off his debts.

Delivery Man

Once he decides to proceed with the countersuit, David is given access to the identity of the 142 people suing him. He tries to avoid looking, but can’t help himself. The next thing he knows, he is showing up in these people’s lives and serving as something of a guardian angel to all of them. He helps them with whatever is going on in their lives.
He begins to get attached and questions his decision to sue the clinic for the money. He wants the money, because he doesn’t want to die, but he also starts to like his kids and feels dirty about trying to make money off the whole thing.
David also has a girlfriend who, despite recently announcing she is pregnant, says she doesn’t want to be involved with him anymore. Emma (Colbie Smulders) tells David that not only is she breaking up with him, but that he’s also to have no part in their child’s life. She doesn’t want the fact that he’s a screw up affecting their child.

So, David must decide to do with all of his kids, try and win Emma back, and also pay off his debts before he ends up at the bottom of a river.

As the she noted, this movie isn’t overly funny. It’s billed as a comedy, so this is kind of confusing. Chris Pratt was amusing at times, but for a movie that is classified as a comedy, this movie was severely lacking in laughs.
The movie was also surprisingly emotional. There were a couple of parts that were quite serious and even downright sad. Some of David’s kids are in bad situations and it was pretty heavy stuff for a movie with a premise about a guy with 533 kids, which brings me to my next point.

Dramas have comedy, so you might be saying to yourself, “Well this was a drama, that’s why it’s not wall-to-wall laughs.” A movie that I think of that is both funny and serious that comes to mind is Parenthood. The difference between that movie and this one is that Parenthood, despite being quite funny at times, knows it’s a drama. This movie has a ridiculous premise. The main character has 533 kids for God’s sake. That’s something you see in a screwball or raunchy comedy. It’s a completely unrealistic number, which is fine if you are going for off-the-wall laughs, but if you’re trying to throw some emotion into your movie, it really hurts some of the more dramatic parts. Some of the dramatic parts were really pretty sad too. There were one or two of his kids that had stories that were much deeper than I expected, but you’re constantly reminded he has 531 other kids. This movie could have really benefitted from tweaking the script. It did itself a disservice trying to combine things that didn’t mesh very well. That being said, it was actually ok at times.

Like the She, I'm not the biggest Vince Vaughn fan in the world. I think he's smarmy, plays the same character too often, and isn't the most likeable guy in the world. There's something about him that's annoying. But, I give him credit for showing a little more emotional range than I thought, I just wish the movie was a little better.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was given the He said, She Said seal of approval on July 14, 2014.