That’s the basic story line behind DreamWorks’ Delivery Man, a remake of writer-director Ken Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film Starbuck, whose plot is set in motion by sperm-donations-for-money made to a fertility clinic more than 20 years ago by David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn), an affable meat-truck driver whose prolific deposits resulted in 533 kids he never knew he had.
142 of his offspring – now 20-somethings – have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to lift his veil of anonymity, which kickstarts a journey of self-discovery that starts off smelling a lot like pot and incredulity.
And yes, Wozniak may be mediocre at absolutely everything, but when it comes to Vaughn’s portrayal of the lead character, his performance is anything but. Equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, Vaughn surprises with dramatic delivery that goes much higher brow than his usual “earmuffs-only” acting. A father himself, Vaughn cited his own personal experiences as the catalyst behind his character’s formation, and credited fellow parents and co-stars Cobie Smulders (Wozniak’s pregnant girlfriend Emma), and Chris Pratt, (overwhelmed lawyer Brett) for doing the same.
The result sees humor and drama swinging chummily between reality and fantasy in such a way that invokes all the feels without being too heavy handed, letting audiences enjoy the suspension of disbelief without having to overthink it. What’s more, Vaughn nails David’s Peter Pan syndrome and fledgling paternalism, adding to the film’s relatability and gentle charm.
Wrangling the ropes foisted upon any first-time parent is never easy, and Wozniak’s bumbling, quasi-stalkerish attempts completely confuse guardian angelship with noob fatherhood in a way that touches parents that were once in his clueless shoes, albeit on a much smaller scale.
And then we cry. A lot. Because Delivery Man reminds us that learning what it means to be a parent is about embracing the unexpected. Because it’s the unexpected that truly makes life worth living.
Photo credits: DreamWorks
Travelhound Pilar wouldn’t mind being at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now. But, since she can’t be at her “second home” year round, she curates happy thoughts on Disney Social Media Magic, a virtual springboard where breaking news and other Disneyfied thingamabobs are shared. For more mouse-minded geekery, join Pilar on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and personal site, One Mom Media.