November 29, 2013 5:13:38 pm
Cast: Vince Vaughn,Cobie Smulders,Chris Pratt
Director: Ken Scott
The Indian Express Rating: **
A sperm donor who discovers he has sired children in the hundreds,a shocked girlfriend,and a reunion with the children bathed in giggly laughters and warm sunlight. We could almost be talking about Vicky Donor,but minus all its insights into Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar and what happens when it clashes with the city’s Bengali sub-culture just a few kilometres down the road.
Delivery Man,actually a remake of Scott’s successful French-Canadian film Starbuck,plays it straight,stolid,sentimental and sanctimonious,to middlingly satisfactory but highly expected results.
David Wozniak (Vaughn) delivers meat for the family’s meat business,and is apparently inept at even that,among other things. His girlfriend Emma (Smulders,of How I Met Your Mother) tells him she is pregnant with his child and dumps him for how irresponsible he is. His father and brothers have had about enough of him. And he owes $80,000 to some not-so-nice people. It is in this situation that David comes to know that the 693 sperm donations that he did over four years back in the ’90s have resulted in 533 children,142 of whom want to know their biological father.
The 142 have sent their short profiles and photos,and David starts visiting them one by one,clandestinely. Invariably each of these visits results in him coming across as a warm human being who helps them out in their moments of distress. The children include a gay,a Black and even one disabled teen.
You know where this film is headed. And while Scott makes David’s journey back to Emma’s heart thankfully short,he takes an even lesser time winning over all those “lost teens” needing their biological father,even without revealing his true identity to them.
What are the chances of all these nice,well-behaved,grateful,warm and friendly children springing from the loins of one man? A man who is dressed at all times in a T-shirt and ill-fitting sweatshirt,and who took on the name ‘Starbuck’ for his “manual labour”? What are the chances of the actual parents of these children never figuring in the picture? Most of all,what are the chances of all this ending happily ever after for everybody — even as the film acknowledges the repercussions of such an eventuality?
But hey,as David shows us,having a lot of balls in the air helps.
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