Delivery Man [Celluloid Hero]
Delivery Man (2013)
Sometimes a movie is completely different from what I expected. Usually a trailer gets me excited and the movie ends up letting me down, but in this case the movie was much more than the trailer let on. I thought I would get a typical Vince Vaughn comedy, sarcastic and sexy and vulgar. Instead I got a movie that actually posed some really interesting questions.
Vaughn plays David, a man who secretly made sperm donations in college in order to make some extra money. Due to a mistake by the collection agency, he ended up being the father of hundreds of children. I initially thought it would just be a series of goofy montages as he interacted with the kids. Instead, things get pretty serious. David signed a contract to be an anonymous donor, but now these children want to find out who their biological father is.
There is some suspension of disbelief to get on board with the fact that these hundreds of kids all still live in the same metropolitan area, and form support groups and have picnic retreats. Despite that, it's not that crazy to accept that the adoptive families would likely live in the same city as the donor. Once news broke of the mistake, it's also not crazy to think that the families that went through the agency would be in touch with eachother.
I've always thought Vince Vaughn was a great actor, and he's just been type-cast as the boorish man-child lately. He pulls off some good dramatic acting, but still keeps his sense of humor. A supporting cast of Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders are also solid. Only a few of the kids get much screen time, but none really stood out to me.
The real heaviness in the movie comes from the moral dilemma posed to David. He can either remain anonymous, which is his legal right, or come forth and give these kids some closure in their lives. I usually don't give spoilers here, but there is a courtroom scene where David's lawyer drops what I think is the ultimate bombshell: if David didn't think what he was doing would be anonymous, he would not have done it, and none of these kids would have existed.
I don't know if this is common, but I definitely had the thought of donating while I was in college. At the time it seemed simple, an easy way to make some money. I would be helping out a couple who wasn't able to have a child themselves. I never went through with it, mostly because I took the time to step back and think about how I would feel knowing a little version of myself was out there whose life I was not a part of. I'm not condemning the practice of sperm donors, just saying I felt I couldn't handle it. Take that small moral dilemma and multiply it by a few hundred, and you end up with "Delivery Man".