DELIVERY MAN Review: My Oversized Life

Full disclosure:  I hate spoilers in reviews, so there won’t be any in this one.  DELIVERY MAN is the third remake of the 2011 Canadian film Starbuck (the other two are the Bollywood version “Vicky Donor” and France’s “Fonzy”).  I wouldn’t call this a family film, but it is fun and funny and thought-provoking.  If your kids are older teens, it would be a fun family outing and would make a great date night for couples.  My detailed DELIVERY MAN review follows; click here for more photos, trailers, and clips from DreamWorks DELIVERY MAN.

DELIVERY MAN

DELIVERY MAN REVIEW

This is a true family film – as in, a film about family.  The story centers around David Wozniak (played by Vince Vaughn), a 40-something man who is well-meaning, but ineffectual.  He always has the best intentions, but manages to screw up just about everything he sets out to do.  From picking up team uniforms to paying off debts (he’s apparently quite good at acquiring them), he struggles to get things done, disappointing his father, brothers and girlfriend, along the way.  And then he learns that he has, in fact, succeeded quite spectacularly at one thing in particular.  DELIVERY MAN chronicles how David handles this success and how it impacts his relationships with his family, friends, and girlfriend.

With all the men in the cast, it’s no surprise that the focus is on dads.  We see all kinds of dads in DELIVERY MAN:  Sports Dad, Sweet Dad, Self-Effacing Dad, Sacrificing Dad, etc.  Mostly, though, the story is about relationships between people and revolves around the questions of “what is family?” and “who are family?” and “what makes a father a good dad?”  David navigates the various family relationships as he tries to prove to Emma, his girlfriend (played by Cobie Smulders), that he cares and can be a good partner for her (that’s kind of a pun – she’s a cop).  Throughout the story, David’s relationship with his best friend, Brett (played by Chris Pratt), shows strength and support and is a wonderful example for teens (and anyone) watching this film.

DELIVERY MAN

(L-R) Chris Pratt and Vince Vaughn in DELIVERY MAN, photo by Jessica Miglio ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

 

One of my favorite moments in the film is tucked in and you have to be paying attention to understand what you’re really hearing.  It’s the answer to a question that isn’t asked in the film, but ties it all together without being obvious and shows, subtly, the depth of David’s character – he always means well, even if his actions are impulsive and not always a successful means to his intended end (or even good ideas in and of themselves).  Another favorite was David’s relationship with Ryan (played by Sébastien René, who played the same role in “Starbuck”), which moved from tentative to tender and was the basis of another of the sweet little moments in the film that show the depth of David’s character.

As a New Yorker, I love the setting of the film.  New York shows up beautifully, as does NY pride via artwork, t-shirts (including one that I’m now on the hunt for), etc.  In fact, New York was showcased so much here that it was virtually a character itself.  I even learned about a historical building I wasn’t familiar with and have added it to my list of must-sees for NYC.

DELIVERY MAN

Director/writer Ken Scott sets up a shot on the streets of Manhattan for “Delivery Man,” photo by Jessica Miglio ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

Vince Vaughn shone in this role, which is a typical role for him.  There were moments when the entire communication was by expression and he portrayed the emotions so eloquently, though silently, that the viewer knew exactly what was happening and what would happen next.  Vaughn gets better with every movie.  The supporting cast were also very good, particularly Chris Pratt, for whom this was an excellent role, taking him in a different direction from Parks & Recreation.  I haven’t seen Andrzej Blumenfeld before, that I know of, but he really stood out for me as another actor whose expressiveness shines.  When he told the story about his father, I was completely drawn in and emotionally engaged.  Sébastien René is another impressive actor – on a par with Leonardo DiCaprio in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” –  playing the disabled Ryan (Raphaél in the original film) so well that I didn’t know that he isn’t a disabled actor until I reviewed the press kit for the film.

DELIVERY MAN

David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn, center) is surrounded by 142 of his 533 children in DreamWorks Pictures’ “Delivery Man.” photo by Jessica Miglio ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

DELIVERY MAN is rated PG-13 and is not meant to be watched by young children.  It’s not violent or sexually explicit, but the subject matter may be difficult for tweens and younger teens, though it’s sure to generate lots of interesting conversations.  I really enjoyed the movie and it gave me plenty of food for thought in the days that followed.

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.