Vince Vaughn delivers the funny in every movie he does. Delivery Man is no exception. For obvious reasons, given the themes of adoption and infertility that I often tackle here on my blog Thrifty Mommas Tips, I was really curious to see where Delivery Man would go in terms of plot.
Chicago Movie Preview of Delivery Man
I was invited to attend the Disney Chicago movie preview at Blogher 13 in the summer. It wasn’t the first sneak peak I’ve had of a movie, but it was memorable for a couple of reasons. Vaughn addressed a room full of bloggers in his introduction, noting he would have been at the event but for the imminent birth of his son. More importantly, I got to see this one with several of my best bloggy friends from around the world.
The basic premise of Delivery Man is based on a French Canadian film called Starbuck. The plot is this: over a period of years a man named Starbuck makes dozens of donations to a sperm bank. We learn this man’s mother has passed away. We learn that Starbuck aka Vince Vaughn works in the family business with his father and brothers, but he never really finds his groove or mojo. Vaughn’s character is a grownup man child, who relies on his position in the family and his charming humourous side to carry him through, even when life shoots him a curve ball. He has a girlfriend, but she realizes he is irresponsible and she dumps him. The girlfriend is played by Cobie Smulders, of How I Met Your Mother fame.
One day, Starbuck receives a visit from a lawyer who has been contracted on behalf of about 150 of the 533 children he biologically fathered. From there on in, Starbuck David Wozniak faces his own immortality and his childishness head on as he attempts to check in on his offspring by checking up on them, strangely befriending them, rescuing some from bad life choices and occasionally stalking them. He is motivated to find out if they grew up okay without him.
There were a lot of moments in this movie that required suspension of disbelief. Those of you who read this blog frequently, know that I am community manager for several patient groups, including Conceivable Dreams, an infertility patient group in Ontario. So I know a fair bit about the topic of assisted reproduction. The rights of a child born via sperm donation, have made ethical headlines and newspaper headlines often in the past decade. This question is not one that would have even been talked about 20 years ago and yet here we are making comedies about sperm donation in 2013. Part of me thinks the fact that a movie like Delivery Man gets made now is a bit of a triumph for infertility advocacy and awareness campaigns.
The Legal Query and Debate Surrounding This Topic
It’s interesting and topical in one way to carry out a plot based on questions of genealogy and biology centring on the topic of infertility and sperm donors. There is no end to the ethical and legal debate right now surrounding sperm donors and a child’s right to know both biological parents. I watched part of this movie thinking to myself it was highly doubtful that so many of a sperm donor’s children would ever be motivated to sue just to reveal the truth of who fathered them.
Suspend The Disbelief
In fact, I also watched thinking where on earth were all the parents, you know the ones who raised the group of children who launched the lawsuit? They are conspicuously, or conveniently absent from the plot. There are also characters so deeply in need of this connection with Vaughn’s character that they never seem to question the issue of what makes a parent. They blindly seek him out needing to know and needing a relationship. That was the part of the movie that required the greatest amount of suspension of disbelief from me.
Obviously, Hollywood makes everything bigger for the sake of entertainment and Delivery Man is certainly entertaining, even when it’s not that believable. No way on earth that many children conceived through assisted reproduction would have such a deep-rooted need to claim their father, or share their biological father with hundreds of other siblings. I love Vince Vaughn in most movies. He has great timing and he is one of the best comedic actors out there at portraying Average Joe. Remember Dodge Ball? I LOVED that movie.
There are parts of Delivery Man that are serious and contemplative and required a bit more of Vaughn’s acting ability than we have seen in his usual roles. He hit the mark surprisingly well, despite the noted plot glitches. This movie is absolutely a very timely subject and it will make you laugh. It is an entertaining holiday diversion and I enjoyed the sidekick character – Chris Pratt. In fact the supporting cast on Delivery Man was stellar. Delivery Man is in theatres on November 22nd.