“Delivery Man” Review by Shirley Hawkins

              “Delivery  Man” is Hilarious!

 

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What would you do if you discovered that you had fathered 533 children?

 

That’s the dilemma facing meat delivery man Dave Wozniack, who arrives home one day and finds a creepy looking guy in his Brooklyn apartment who confronts him with the mind-blowing news.

 

(But hold up—homeboy must have flimsy locks on his door to find this creepo lounging in his crib! After all, he lives in New York! Dave should either invest in a pair of pit bulls or hire Joan Rivers to scare intruders away!)

 

“Dave Wozniak, my name is Mark Williams. I am an attorney,” says the intruder.

 

Williams is a lawyer from the sperm bank, where a financially-strapped Dave, whose alias was “Starbuck,” generously donated his sperm from 1991 to 1994.  It turns out that 142 of the 533 children, now adults, have filed a class-action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of the mysterious Starbuck.

 

Let’s just say that ol’ Dave has been one busy boy, but he’s not ready to take on fatherhood–especially when they could populate a whole Wal Mart!

 

“David esta en Mexico!” Dave cries.

 

Williams doesn’t buy it. He tells Dave that the clinic will continue to shield his identity and leaves an envelope with the profiles of 142 children who have filed the lawsuit. He instructs Dave not to open it.

 

dm12But that’s not all—Dave’s cop girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) informs him that she is pregnant, but she’s debating whether she wants Dave to take over the duties of father!

 

“I didn’t know you were pregnant!” says Dave, amazed.

 

“You would know if you called me once in a while,” she retorts.

 

(Maybe ol’ Dave should have texted more often!)

 

Emma’s concerned about Dave’s footloose and fancy free lifestyle. He’s often MIA (missing in action) because he’s such a slacker (he’s so bad, she just might have him arrested)!

 

And then there’s his father and two brothers at the Wozniack family Butcher Shop who complain about Dave’s man-child ways! They love him, but Dave is one step from being clobbered with a leg of mutton!

 

You can’t say that Dave is not entirely a slacker—he supplements his income by growing weed in his apartment—(Hey–the Big Apple is pricey!)

 

On top of that, Dave is a magnet for parking tickets—and owes some loan sharks $80,000!

 

Dave confides to his friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt), a single father of four toddlers, that he has fathered 533 children. He wants him to represent him to keep his records sealed.

 

Amazed by Dave’s confession and concerned about Dave’s nonexistent parenting skills, Brett advises Dave to have Emma abort the child.

 

“They will suck up your energy, your soul, your time,” he warns Dave of children.  “I used to have hair, but I don’t have it anymore,” he moans. “As your friend and lawyer, you don’t have the skills to bring up a child.”

 

Back to the envelope. (Now, come on!  Wouldn’t you be tempted to open an envelope with the lowdown on your kids in it? That’s like placing candy in front of a hungry child and asking him not to take a lick! If you had fathered that many children, wouldn’t you be dying to take a peek-a-boo just to see how your progeny turned out?)

 

"Delivery Man"Dave can’t resist! He tears open the envelope–and Holy New York Yankees ! The first profile he lays eyeballs on is of Adam Johansen, known far and wide as a star pro baseball player!

 

(Shades of Koby Bryant!)

 

Dave and Brett go to see Johansen play and with the game winding down, Johansen scores the winning basket! Dave is one proud papa! Dave and Brett give each other high fives!

 

“My genes were on a professional basketball court!” Dave says proudly.

 

Buoyed by this first son, Dave papers his wall with profiles and pictures of his progeny! He’s amazed and filled with joy!

 

Then Dave has a light bulb idea—he can’t afford to take all of them to Burger King, but, gosh darn it–he can stalk as many as he can!

 

“I can be their guardian angel! They need someone to look out for them!” Dave cries.

 

(Now, wait a minute–isn’t stalking against the law? And how exactly Dave becomes a stalkeroonie while he holds down a full-time job delivering sides of beef is beyond me!)

 

Dave becomes like Sherlock Holmes as he stalks his kids. He finds out that another son is a street musician. The poor dude is a Paul Simon wannabe but doesn’t make enough change to rub two cents together.  So each day, Dave hangs around to clap and whistle for the guy until a crowd gathers and starts filing up his guitar case with coins!

 

(Awww—how sweet!)

 

Dave visits a cafe to meet another of his progeny—a struggling actor who is pissed to be pouring coffee for a living. It just so happens that there’s an important audition coming up that day.  He’s dying to go, so Dave volunteers to watch the café so that the guy can go on his audition.

 

What occurs is a comedy of errors—customers suddenly line up at the café and Dave goes bonkers! He can’t tell the difference between a mocha latte and a cappuccino to save his life! The coffee orders look like 20 miles of bad road and the customers are furious! It’s a total disaster made even worse when the angry boss shows up and fires his missing employee!

 

(Not to worry! The kid returns and happily tells Dave that he got the part!)

“They loved me!” he cries. “I’m officially an actor!”

 

(Whew! Talk about a roller coaster ride! Dude was fired and hired on the same day!)

 

Dave gets acquainted with some of his other children—a daughter who he literally saves from a drug overdose, (seriously!) a handsome gay son who is juggling several amorous boyfriends, a tour guide, a lifeguard, a manicurist,  and a disabled son who lives in an institution.

 

(Dave starts showing up at the pool where his lifeguard son works and waves at him like a giddy schoolboy! Dave slips off the board and nearly drowns! His lifeguard son jumps into the pool and rescues him by giving him CPR! Now, that’s what I call real father-son bonding!)

 

Dave manages to spend time with all of the kids without blowing his identity, but it turns out that Dave’s kids have formed a club called Starbuck whose goal is to find out the identity of their father.

 

Holy Moly! Dave follows his gay son into a swanky hotel and inadvertently walks into a Starbuck meeting! He’s handed a microphone and gets up to speak! He rambles on looking like a deer frozen in the headlights!

 

“I don’t know all of you here, but you’re all focused on finding Starbuck! You are all brothers and sisters. You have all found each other!” he cries.

 

(Wow! Now, that’s what I call articulate!)

 

Dave is pumped up from meeting a room full of his progeny! “For the first time in my life, I think I’m doing the right thing!” he tells Brett.

 

Dave dumps all of the weed in his apartment into the trash! He is determined to (ahem) turn over a new leaf!

 

(The trash man can’t believe his luck and thinks he’s won the jackpot! He snatches the bags of weed to take home quicker than you can say pothead Willie Nelson!)

 

“Stop seeing your kids,” Brett warns.

 

In the meantime, Dave comes home and is greeted by some thugs lurking in his apartment! They’ve come to collect that $80,000! (Those flimsy locks again!) They throw Dave in the bathtub and try to drown him!

 

“Where’s the money?” they growl.

 

They finally let him out of the bath tub and leave, but Dave panics. He calls everyone he knows on the phone in an attempt to get the money but comes up empty.

 

Dave gets another visitor! A young man who was sitting behind Dave at the Starbuck meeting named Viggo (Adam Chanler-Berat)! Viggo has a strong hunch that Dave is his biological father! He makes himself at home in Dave’s living room! (Those flimsy locks again!) He tells Dave he wants to move in or he’ll expose him to his 141 brothers and sisters!

 

Dave is frantic not to blow his identity. He lets Viggo move in! Viggo turns out to be one big pain in the petunia because he’s fond of debating Dave with vague existential ramblings! Dave is not exactly feelin’ ol’ Viggo!

 

But Starbuck becomes a sensation when one of Dave’s sons writes a newspaper article about him and it turns up on CNN! Now everyone wants to know who Starbuck is!

 

Jay Leno and Bill Maher have a field day joking about Starbuck on late night TV!

 

“They call him Starbuck. They need to call him chock full of nuts!” cracks Leno.

 

(Ha, ha! That’s a good one, Jay!)

 

Will Dave continue to stalk his kids? Will he win the lawsuit to keep his identity under wraps, or will he reveal that he is Starbuck? Will he get the $80,000 to pay off those nasty thugs? Will Emma relent and agree to let Dave be the father to their baby? Will that Nietzche-spouting Viggo finally move out of his apartment?

 

Well, now! There’s only one way to find out! Go see Delivery Man!

 

Vaughn usually plays the wisecracking, smarmy character, but this is a heartwarming tale that shows a kinder, gentler side of Vaughn that really tugs at the heartstrings.

 

Released by Dreamworks Pictures, I liked this movie, and I think you will, too. It’s all about family and fatherhood and the ties that bind.

 

After all, there is nothing like family!

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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