Fatherhood is a complex subject that isn’t an exact science. The fact is, every father is different. The goals and ideas are the same, but the experience is something different for every day. This experiences gets even more complicated and complex when you add a second baby. Or a third. Maybe even a fourth! However, what happens when you find out you are the biological father of 533 people? David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) tackles this unique challenge in the romantic comedy Delivery Man, a movie that takes you through this impossible conquest.
The story revolves around Wozniak, a chronic underachiever who stayed afloat while younger by constantly making donations to his local sperm bank. As it turns out, the company was simply handing Wozniak’s sperm to all of its patients, causing Wozniak to be the father of over 500 children. 20 years after his sperm donating spree, 142 of these kids have banded together to file a lawsuit, forcing Wozniak to reveal his true identity, as he is know simply as Starbuck through the bank’s files.
Much of the movie deals with Wozniak, a first time father, dealing with all kinds of fatherly issues as he slowly makes it his mission to meet every one of his kin. In one scene, he has to decide whether to help out his son by covering for him at work so he can go on an audition of a lifetime. The next scene, he has to determine whether he will check his “daughter” into rehab following another drug overdose. A handful of stories, strung together by one common thread: David Wozniak.
My main drawback with this film is one that is hard to justify given the theme of the film: There is too much Vince Vaughn. He is literally in every scene. While his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders), and best friend Brett (Chris Pratt) provide great comic relief, they have a fraction of the screen time that Vaughn does. However, there’s really no other way to tell a story like this without having Wozniak on screen at all times, because he truly is the focal point, not only of the film, but in a way, all of his kid’s lives.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie or Vaughn’s performance in anyway. I simply felt there could have been more screen time dedicated to Pratt and Smulders, especially after a little plot twist related to Emma that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserved. The film simply relies on Vaughn a bit too much to carry it throughout, and at times it gets a bit drawn out and boring.
Pratt is his usual hilarious self whenever on camera, as he too is looking to make something of himself with his job. The benefit of having so many side stories within one movie experience is that there is plenty of character evolution, both from Wozniack, his girlfriend, and all of his kids.
While Delivery Man may not be the next great romantic comedy of our time, it certainly provides a unique and different movie going experience in a world full of movies with the same recycled themes and subjects. While the movie can get serious at times, the overall tone is lighthearted, yet realistic, in a story that is in and of itself wholly unrealistic.