Friday, November 22, 2013

Fatherhood For Dummies

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for a guest movie review by Hubby of Delivery Man. But first, allow me to tell you about the best movie I saw earlier this year. No, it wasn't released this year. It wasn't even in English. It was a French-Canadian film finally released on DVD in the U.S. in anticipation of its upcoming American remake. The premise seemed a little too raunchy to be a heartwarming story about family, so imagine my surprise when I got choked up at the end, especially after an unwanted pregnancy, a drug overdose and a subplot about death threats. I'm referring of course to Starbuck (2011), the movie that Delivery Man is based on, and made by the very same director. Now I'm not one of those Americans that hates subtitles, nor do I believe that a bigger Hollywood budget makes much of a difference on a comedy, so bear with me while I spell out how unnecessary I felt this new Vince Vaughn movie would be. You see, Vince Vaughn is one of my favorite actors but I haven't really enjoyed any of the roles he's chosen. That's right, I just said that. I may not be a fan of such slacker "classics" as Swingers (1996), Dodgeball (2004) or The Internship from earlier this year, but I did think his Wild West Comedy Show (2008) was hilarious. What's more, I applaud his genuinely creepy roles on the unnecessary remake of Psycho (1998), Domestic Disturbance (2001) and Be Cool (2005). All that being said, I loved him in Delivery Man.

At first glance, the 6'5" Vince Vaughn doesn't seem to match the everyman quality of the original movie's lead actor, Patrick Huard. But aside from differing heights and a new biracial daughter, Delivery Man is almost a scene-for-scene remake and I mean that in the best possible way. There was nothing wrong with the original movie but who better to be the biological father of 533 kids than the hulking, fast-talking Vince Vaughn? (I did the math and if his character was a sperm donor 693 times and there were 533 pregnancies, that's a 77% success rate. Also, only 142 of his children take him to court over his right to privacy so that means he only has the chance to meet 27% during the course of the movie.) It's brilliant casting against type in the aforementioned scene of the drug overdose because he's physically powerless to help this help this poor girl and he's without any witty words to cut the tension. I'd never seen Vince Vaughn in such a serious scene and the lighting by itself makes him look pale and afraid. Stepping back for a moment, I'm a little afraid myself that I might be giving the wrong impression of what this movie is all about, so I'll do some more spelling out here: Delivery Man is first and foremost a comedy, but I'll do one better than that and call it THE feel-good comedy of the year. Boo-yah! Just like the title of this post suggests, it's everything you need to know about fatherhood wrapped up in a few days' worth of experiences, laid out for an audience with the emotional maturity of those man-children you see on other more popular Vince Vaughn movies: Is anyone ever really prepared for parenthood? How do you talk to your teenage daughter about the way she dresses? What do you do if your adult son is disabled, or out of work, or (drumroll please)... a goth?

*Thank you to Disney for providing press passes to Delivery Man.

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