Having children is an extremely grown up topic. Let’s face it. Children are scary. Drooling, biting, and smelly…these are all things that can bring even the bravest of men to their knees crying in self-pity. It’s safe to say, you would have to be either extremely comfortable in your lifestyle or completely reckless to consider having one. Now, consider having 533 of them. In one word: overwhelming. Delivery Man is the laughable and heartwarming story of an underachieving father who finds out he is the father of exactly that number. How would you deal with that situation?
Personally, I can’t even begin to imagine. I have no children and until I find myself in the company of a god-like superwoman who’s willing to take on the challenge of raising what I’m sure would be stark-raving, sadistic, uncontrollable man beasts with my genetics, I won’t anytime soon. It’s intimidating for sure. In Delivery Man, Vince Vaughn plays the role of David Wozniak, a scheming, laughable, and irresponsible delivery driver for his father’s meat supply business. Quickly, David learns that after several carefree donations to a sperm bank, he is now the father of 533 children. To add to the predicament, a large majority of these children want to know who their biological father is. Dealing with this situation is not easy for Wozniak at all. Simultaneously, his girlfriend is trying to decide whether he could make the sacrifices and accept the responsibility of being a father to her own child.
After seeing this film, I found out that it is basically a scene for scene remake of a film entitled Starbuck released a few years ago. Directed by Ken Scott, he attempted to make a much less gritty version and heartfelt storyline. I found it to be truly heartwarming and genuine. The character that Vince Vaughn plays is similar to other roles that he has played before. It starts with a strong comedic tone; however, we finally get to see a more serious, less satirical side to his acting chops. He succeeds in balancing a seemingly sarcastic and comedic tone with honesty and sincerity that we haven’t really seen from him before. As an audience, we get to see the subtle progression of a regular guy who doesn’t really think in the long term, into man who wants the very best for his children. Eventually, he manages to find his true purpose from the happiness of his children. While his methods are seemingly questionable, scheming in the beginning to make money through hydroponics, the character progression shows the growth and change of someone whose heart was always in the right place. This makes the audience form strong bonds to Wozniak which really makes this movie so enjoyable.
Wozniak’s scene for scene journey is an admirable one as well. The story line is interesting and takes time to break down some meaningful experiences for Wozniak, transforming him in to an acceptable father figure. At first, Wozniak is scared and worried about the overwhelming feeling of having so many children. Eventually, he is curious and wants to know more about the children he has sired. This leads him to finding out many things. He is forced to deal with a lifetime of experiences for several of his children including pride, sorrow, regret, achievement, and success in only a short time. Reflecting on his own shortcomings and missed opportunities, he desires to fill the gaps his children don’t have and helps to make changes and events happen only a solid mentor, strong-minded, helpful father figure can make on these children. Eventually, Wozniak realizes his own potential of becoming a great father and aspires to be more through the love of his children. This is an excellent story.
While it is obvious that Wozniak is not perfect, the path his character takes from underachieving mediocrity to sincere love and willingness to do anything for his family and future family truly makes this film really great. It shows through a radical act how wonderful parenthood can be. It’s nice to see a loveable actor like Vaughn try new things and succeed. My suggestion is to go see Delivery Man with your parents. I think you’ll find it to be very special especially around the holidays.
I give Delivery Man 4 “special donations” out of 5.
by Jason Burleson