‘Delivery Man’ a fantasy without a drop of cynicism

Emma (Colbie Smulders) isn't sure she's ready to be a mother, and she doesn't know that her boyfriend (Vince Vaughn) is the father of more than 500 kids because of a problem at a sperm clinic 20 years ago in "Delivery Man." (AP Photo/Disney-DreamWorks II Distribution Co., Jessica Miglio)

Emma (Colbie Smulders) isn’t sure she’s ready to be a mother, and she doesn’t know that her boyfriend (Vince Vaughn) is the father of more than 500 kids because of a problem at a sperm clinic 20 years ago in “Delivery Man.” (AP Photo/Disney-DreamWorks II Distribution Co., Jessica Miglio)

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

“Delivery Man” was a sacrifice to the box-office gods this past weekend.

Most eyes were on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which collected $161.1 million, while “Delivery Man” took in $8.2 million.

I haven’t seen “The Hunger Games” sequel and can’t comment on it, but I think “Delivery Man” is the kind of movie that could’ve done better had it been released on one of those weekends when the theaters were full of inexpensive horror films.

This is a feel-good movie, and an odd romance. It stars Vince Vaughn as David and Cobie Smulders as Emma. The two characters are dating, but their courtship is secondary to the story.

Back in the day, David needed money to do something pretty cool, so he sold his sperm to a sperm bank more than 600 times.

The clinic made a serious mistake, and 20 years later, David has about 500 biological children and a bunch of them are suing to find out the identity of “Starbuck,” David’s code name from the clinic.

He’s freaked out at first, and his friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) helps him fight for his anonymity.

The problem is David gives into his curiosity and opens the packet that contains profiles of more than 100 of his kids.

He starts going out to meet them. One’s a famous basketball star, and another is a drunken party animal. There’s a struggling actor and a woman who just needs someone to trust her.

David is exactly the kind of screw-up who would donate to a sperm bank more than 600 times, and Emma isn’t sure he’s the right man to be a dad to her unborn child.

David starts out as a fast-talking charmer (similar to most of Vaughn’s movie characters). The experience of getting to know his kids changes him, and it’s fun to watch that change.

This is a romantic movie, a fantasy made not so much to cause laughter as happy feelings. It’s not in the least bit cynical. None of David’s children turn out to be ax murderers, and most of their problems – with one notable exception – are solvable.

“Delivery Man” won’t win awards, and as we’ve seen, it won’t win any box-office titles. It’s the kind of movie that might annoy you, depending on your mood and expectations.

Or it could sweep you away for while to a place where even bad things aren’t all that bad.

If you don’t see it at the theater, it might be worth catching on a television, a laptop or some other device on down the road.

I give “Delivery Man” a B minus.

It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.