Director: Ken Scott
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Andrezj Blumenfeld, Simon Delaney, Bobby Moyniham
Written by: Ken Scott (based on the original screenplay “Starbuck”) and Martin Petit
Running Time: 105 mins
Release date: 10th January 2014
Watching Delivery Man is like the equivalent to eating a bag of sugar, a box of cakes, a bar of chocolate and downing a 2 litre bottle of coke, it’s so sickly sweet that you fear for your teeth that they won’t rot.
David is a delivery man for his father’s meat company who is one of life’s losers, an irresponsible man who owes hundreds of thousands, cannot do the simplistic of activities and has found out his on-off girlfriend, Emma, is pregnant and cannot see him as a proper father. Then he gets the shock of his life. Having donated his sperm for years to earn money, he finds out he is the father to 533 children, 142 are filing a lawsuit to find out who their real biological father is. Dave, confused as to what to do, starts to look into the lives of these children and becomes a guardian angel to them.
Based on a 2011 French/Canadian comedy called “Starbuck”, writer/director Ken Scott has literally moved his mildly amusing tale to New York and has changed very little else, except to up the saccharine factor and in the process has given up a muddled mess of a film.
It starts off as a slacker comedy, the kind of knockabout nonsense that you’d expect for its star, Vince Vaughn, to make every other week. It then heads off in a totally different and tries to give us lessons in fatherhood and redemption and how a completely irresponsible man can change over night to the most responsible creature on the planet.
What is also misguided is that it has been marketed as a comedy, except this is a comedy with very few laughs. In fact, there is one big belly laugh near the end of the film and that’s about it. None of the situations are particularly funny and most of the lines either barely raises a smile or, more insultingly, a huff.
This is where it falls down. It’s not a bad film, it’s just very mediocre. It follows a formula that leads to the inevitable conclusion and offers very little surprises. Even the children are mediocre. They lead obvious careers: ones an actor, another a musician, another a life guard etc. It’s like the pick of children’s ideal job. I was shocked there wasn’t an astronaut.
It also has us believe that the children want to know the identity of the biological father and yet Dave signed a confidentiality contract with the sperm donor hospital, calling himself Starbuck. Any one knowing basic law will know that if a contract is signed, unless broken, it stands, so the story falls down badly here as a plot device.
If there is a blessing in disguise, it’s Vaughn. Usually playing the smug, smart-alec, this is a more reserved Mr V and he does, on occasion, looks rather uncomfortable and finding it hard to carry the film. In the role he would normally be seen in is Parks And Recreations star Chris Pratt, as Dave’s best friend, single father of four and former lawyer. He gets the best lines and does a good job at almost stealing the film under Vaughn’s nose.
Instantly forgettable, this will probably do well for those looking for undemanding entertainment for the first week and then will vanish from the public’s memory. It’s perfectly harmless but completely pointless as well. Not sure who the film is aimed at, if you aren’t in the mood for serious dramas and award seekers, then this might pass the test but be warned, take a sick bucket with you.