Meet David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn, “Wedding Crashers” “Couples Retreat”). Although the eldest of the three Wozniak sons: David is the least successful, and in serious debt. He’s constantly looking for ways to make quick cash: such as growing weed in his apartment; not to mention 18 years prior to that, when Wozniak made “anonymous” donations to a fertility clinic for extra cash under the name “Starbuck.” Thanks to those big sperm bank donations, he’s now the biological father of 533 children, and 142 are suing to learn his identity. Wozniak also can’t dodge some Brooklyn mobsters looking to get their $50,000 dollars in gambling debts that he owes.
In the DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment film, “Delivery Man,” Wozniak is a loveable, yet completely unfocused meat truck delivery guy whose life is completely altered after learning he’s being sued by 142 of his 533 children. The “feel-good,” comedy about finding purpose in life is based on the original screenplay, “Starbuck,” written by Ken Scott and Martin Petit. Penned for screen and directed by Ken Scott, I found “Delivery Man,” to be heartfelt and multilayered – just as life affords its own intricacies.
From a sociological perspective, this piece explores the “domino effects” of absentee parents, where in this case, the father is missing and we witness how 142 young adults are affected by his absence. Vince Vaughn says of his Wozniak role, “I think what’s great about the character of David is his capacity to love.” Vaughn explains, “I feel like it’s impossible for him to resist kind of trying to reach out and have a connection.”
Once Wozniak seeks counsel from his best friend, albeit “obviously frustrated” stay-at-home dad and would-be attorney Brett (Chris Pratt, “Five-Year Engagement,” “Moneyball”) for legal and parenting advice, the inept delivery driver goes on an inadvisable quest to find his motherless children. Scenes with Brett and his four children are engaging and hilarious. Problems keep mounting as Wozniak finds out that his police force girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders, “Safe Haven,” “The Avengers”) is also pregnant and willing to take the journey alone. Emma is one tough cookie, and knows Wozniak has a reputation for being unreliable. Needless to say, he isn’t happy about her decision. Yet, his secret quest ensues to discover more about his children.
From Josh (Jack Reynor) the handsome barista and aspiring actor unable to leave his bustling coffee house to audition for roles; to Kristen (Britt Robertson) the attractive, but promising drug-addicted sales associate, who nearly overdoses because she’s had far too many disappointments to count; to Ryan (Sebastien Rene) a wheelchair-bound young man, who although unable to speak, wins over Wozniak’s heart; to Viggo (Adam Chanler-Berat), the gothic and somewhat social weirdo who attaches onto Wozniak like a leach; Wozniak is a father with his hands full, observing a little bit of himself in all of his kids. However, after meeting Kristen, Ryan, and a few of his other kids, as well as having Viggo live with him, he reaches an epiphany. The slacker becomes an invisible “guardian angel,” encouraging and sometimes helping them reach a little further toward their dreams whenever possible.
For Vaughn, he says he also appreciates how the film explores universal acceptance such as his character having children of all ethnicity, sexual orientation, and even special needs. The star says, “To me, the movie a lot of it is about learning to accept who you are.” Vaughn explains, “You have the pressures to be a bunch of different things, and we don’t all have all skills at all sides of stuff. But getting to be okay with yourself, forgive yourself, you know, love yourself, and bringing that to the table for relationships.”
Along this awakening journey and legal battle, we find Wozniak anonymously meeting more of his children, and no longer finding satisfaction in a life of mediocrity. More importantly, after girlfriend Emma gives birth to their child he passionately cries out, “Nobody but the father can decide if he is the father or not.” Here is when we see that Wozniak is finally ready to accept his fatherly duties. I recommend this film for mature audiences.
That’s IT Mommy – Penny
Time: 103 min
* Penny attended a media screening to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.