Special delivery

Special delivery
Cinema Still: Delivery Man, starring Britt Robertson (left) and Vince Vaughn (third from right).

SINGAPORE- Movie Review


105 minutes

The story: David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) works as the delivery man for his family's meat company. He is not the most reliable guy around, which is why his pregnant girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) wants to raise their child on her own. And then David finds out that he is the biological father of 533 children, thanks to his repeated contributions as a sperm donor in his younger days. When 142 of them sue to learn his identity, his lawyer friend Brett (Chris Pratt) fights to keep his name under wraps.

David Wozniak is something of a loser.

He is in his late 30s or early 40s and still behaving like an irresponsible kid. He is in debt to some dubious characters and cannot even be trusted with something as simple as bringing along the basketball uniforms for the company's employees for a photo shoot. Somehow, he manages to screw that up.

As played by Vince Vaughn, though, David is an affable loser.

He means well and there is a sweetness at his core that draws people to him.

After a string of mediocre comedies such as Couples Retreat (2009) and The Internship (2013), Vaughn proves that he can still be funny and winsome in the right film.

Chris Pratt, from television comedy Parks And Recreation, is a great foil for him and funny in his own right as a harassed and overwhelmed parent of four young children.

The humour here is more amiably low-key than aggressively brazen. Director and co-writer Ken Scott manages to keep things interesting by putting likable people in ludicrous situations.

After finding out that he has sired 533 progeny, David begins to surreptitiously tail them.

He starts to feel protective of them and turns into a guardian angel figure trying to do what is best for them.

The wide array of situations his children are in seems to make a good argument that nurture is stronger than nature.

From aspiring actor to sports star, from drug-using daughter to confidently gay son, genetics are no match for the requirements of a movie.

Crises get resolved too easily and the logistics of being a guardian angel to over 100 people would wear down anyone to the bone, let alone a meat delivery guy with very limited resources.

But when David's children come together for a family camping outing, it is an oddly touching and moving sight.

As he himself puts it: "It may be strange, and a bit oversized, but it's my life."

If you are hankering for a serving of warm and fuzzy feelings topped with a dash of humour, then this film delivers.

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