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Originally published Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM

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‘Delivery Man’: Remake of comedy didn’t inherit humor

A 1.5-star movie review of “Delivery Man,” a Hollywood remake of the 2011 French-Canadian romantic comedy “Starbuck.” This one stars Vince Vaughn as a slacker who learns he’s sired 533 kids thanks to deposits at a fertility clinic.




Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 1.5 stars

‘Delivery Man,’ with Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders. Written and directed by Ken Scott. 103 minutes. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language. Several theaters.

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Dr. Music here. My motto: There’s a song lyric to suit every occasion.

Today’s occasion is the arrival of “Delivery Man.”

Fans of Fleetwood Mac will remember this one: “It’s not that funny, is it?”

And this one: “Don’t make me wait.”

A musical twofer! All hail Lindsey Buckingham. Long may he wail.

Vince Vaughn and writer-director Ken Scott make us wait. And wait some more.

What are we waiting for? For the picture to deliver the funny, that’s what.

With its laughs few and far between, “Delivery Man” is simply, sadly, not that funny. Or original.

It’s a Hollywood remake of Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian romantic comedy “Starbuck,” an amusing trifle about a middle-aged slacker from Quebec who learns he’s sired 533 kids thanks to a history of prodigious deposits at a fertility clinic some 20-odd years before. Now, 142 of those offspring have filed suit to force the clinic to divulge the name of their anonymous-donor dad. Cue dithery panic on the part of Papa.

Scott’s remake is a scene-for-scene, virtually shot-for-shot clone of “Starbuck,” with only the language (English rather than French) and location (Brooklyn rather than Montreal) changed.

The picture is sunk by Vaughn, whose performance in the lead role is leaden and morose. His well-meaning doofus character David Wozniak develops protective feelings toward his offspring as he learns their identities. They’re a rainbow assortment of sketchily rendered but very photogenic characters: a star athlete, an aspiring actor, a street busker, an addict girl. Group hugs and insipid smiles abound as Wozniak inserts himself into the kids’ lives without revealing his identity in his self-assigned role of guardian angel.

Incidents from subplots involving his pregnant girlfriend and his indebtedness to mob thugs are dropped in, seemingly at random. Curiously absent from the proceedings are the mothers of the kids.

Adrift in all this is Vaughn, looking puzzled and pained.

Not that funny at all.

Soren Andersen: asoren7575@yahoo.com



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