Arts movie review

Hollywood remake still delivers

Vince Vaughn stars as the father of 533 in film based on the true story of a sperm donor

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Emma (Cobie Smulders) and David (Vince Vaughn) in Delivery Man, a comedy about a man who discovers that he has fathered 533 children through sperm donation.
Courtesy of Disney Studios Motion Pictures


Delivery Man

Directed by Ken Scott

Starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, and Cobie Smulders

Rated PG-13

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Delivery Man follows a forty-year-old serial screw-up and truck driver for his family’s butcher store who finds himself the defendant in a class-action lawsuit brought on by 142 of his children.

In need of quick cash, David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) resorts to donating his sperm 693 times under the assumed identifier “Starbuck,” careful to sign a paternal anonymity agreement before each donation. About 20 years later, he discovers that through some inexplicable fluke in the system, for a period of four years, the sperm bank gave his sperm to all of their clients. He’s fathered 533 children in total, many of whom want to know his identity, and are willing to contest the validity of the anonymity clause in court. His best friend, an underachieving lawyer and stay at home dad, Brett (Chris Pratt), offers to take the case pro bono in hopes of proving his abilities in a case that would make history.

At the same time, David learns that his girlfriend is pregnant, and thus embarks on a journey of working to prove that he can be a father to one child while fighting his responsibility as a biological father to so many others. That is, until he opens the manila envelope containing the detailed profiles of the 142 children looking for their biological father. He can’t be a father to all of them, he reasons, but maybe he can be a guardian angel of sorts.

The movie is a Hollywood reimagining of the 2011 indie film entitled Starbuck, based on a true story. It comes from the mind of the same director and original screenplay co-writer, Ken Scott, but was recast and redone on a much bigger budget. This type of “hollywoodization” has been done before and turned out to be incredibly unsuccessful, so I was pleasantly surprised when Delivery Man still delivered. Vince Vaughn gave an impressive performance for the more serious aspects of the film, while Chris Pratt carried the humor. The plot kept its imaginative, if implausible, feel, and the screenplay was littered with moments that had the entire audience erupting in laughter. The soundtrack was comprised almost entirely of popular indie tunes, perhaps in homage to the story’s own categorical transition into the mainstream media.

This coming of age story is undeniably cute, if a bit cheesy, but will leave you smiling and satisfied. Delivery Man is definitely worth a watch.