Vince Vaughn’s carved out a successful career playing characters who aren’t the most productive members of society. And those characters are usually played for big laughs.
He portrays the same kind of role in “Delivery Man,” a guy whose biggest talent is being a frequent sperm donor, but this time the laughs are more subdued and — dare it be said — sweet. Vaughn’s found a way to take a character who should be annoying and make him endearing.
David Wozniak (Vaughn), a less-than-competent meat delivery truck driver, finds out the donations he made to a fertility clinic 20 years ago — under the fake name of Starbuck — has made him the father of 533 children. He discovers the news when 142 of his sons and daughters file a lawsuit to get him to reveal his identity.
The prolific papa is advised by his friend and lawyer (Chris Pratt) to avoid any contact with the offspring because of all the legal ramifications. The film would have ended early had he not started to dig into the lives of a few of the names on the long list.
Complicating the news is the announcement by Wozniak’s girlfriend, Emma (Cobie Smulders), that she’s pregnant. That Wozniak’s lived such a messed up life (without even knowing about his very extended family) makes her reluctant to allow him to be part of the baby’s life. He must prove he’s changed for the better.
His plan to improve includes implanting himself into the lives of some of his children. Through a series of contrived events, Wozniak finds himself helping his drug-addicted daughter (Britt Robertson), acting hopeful son (Jack Reynor) and several others. All the time he’s working with his offspring, Wozniak’s debating whether or not the right thing to do would be to come forward and reveal his identity.