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Delivery Man – DVD review 3/5 stars

51CFubLVEuL._AA160_3 Stars

I was a little surprised by Delivery Man after seeing the trailer, it was not a typical Vince Vaughn comedy.  After seeing the commercial I figured it would be an hour and a half I would never get back, but the trailer seemed to show that there was a bit of heart behind it, and thankfully the movie upheld this.

Vince Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a man who donated sperm nearly six hundred times under the anonymous user name “Starbuck” some twenty years ago.  An affable underachiever he finds out there was an error at the clinic and he is the biological father of 533 children.  Now when 142 of them file a class action suit against the clinic and “Starbuck” to learn the donor’s identity, he must decide whether or not to come forward.  Of course he does, but not by revealing himself to be the father.  He begins to play “guardian angel” to some of them, by randomly pulling their bio sheets from the court files he’s been served with.  Slowly he gets to anonymously know his children by becoming a friend and posing as the adoptive father of a handicapped young man who is another of “Starbuck’s children”.  David is not entirely a saint though, as he is $80,000 in debt to some shady characters who threaten him and his family; his on again-off again relationship with his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) is more off than on, until she learns that she is pregnant and would rather not have the irresponsible David be in her and her child’s life.

The story does become a little predictable as David wants to be a father but she won’t let him; then he discovers he has 533 kids already.  His interactions with the “Starbuck children” make him a better person, and of course responsible enough to be in Emma’s world.  The story certainly wasn’t difficult to follow or predict, but it was still told quite well and was quite amusing at the same time.  Vince Vaughn is quite relaxed and natural as Wozniak, and plays it quite earnestly.

Delivery Man is a remake of the 2011 French-Canadian film Starbuck, and from my quick bit of research wasn’t changed a whole heck of a lot, which makes some sense as both were written and directed by Ken Scott.  Remakes are a tricky thing, I suppose the best thing about this case is that by making Delivery Man a “big” Hollywood film with mainstream stars, it does open the story up to a much wider audience.  That being said, I’m going to search out the original just to see what the story started out as.

Bottom Line: why did he use the name Starbuck?   Did he like the over priced coffee place, or was it a Battlestar Galactica reference? Perhaps the original will tell…

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