‘Delivery Man,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


I was a fan of Ken Scott’s Canadian comedy, “Starbuck,” when it reached American screens earlier this year. It’s a film that managed to be witty, surprising and soulful, all at the same time.

I recall clearly checking its page on IMDB after I watched it, to find out more about Scott and the lead actor, Patrick Huard. And I can still summon the sinking feeling I had when I noticed a link to a story, announcing that not only had it been picked up by Hollywood – but that Vince Vaughn would assume the main role.

Once again, an American studio was trying to transplant a comedy from another country – and, I assumed, it would dumb it down to its lowest common denominator, robbing the original of its charm, in favor of ham-handed comedy to appeal to the mass American audience.

So this is me, admitting I was wrong. Scott, who adapted and directed the new version himself, called “Delivery Man,” has found a way to preserve the original’s delicate balance of comedy and feeling. More important, Scott found a way to tap into Vaughn’s talent, giving him a role that doesn’t require (or allow) him to riff endlessly.

Indeed, this may be the quietest, most thoughtful character Vaughn has played – and with the most restraint. He digs deep into the character of David Wozniak, letting this guy’s untapped potential slowly reveal itself, without unleashing the normal onslaught of Vaughn’s motor-mouthed mannerisms.

David drives the delivery truck for his family’s successful butcher business in New York. He works with his father (Andrzej Blumenfeld) and two brothers (Simon Delaney, Bobby Moynihan) – and he’s definitely the underachiever in the group. Indeed, David is the perpetual screw-up who, as the film begins, is deeply in debt to some bent-nose types and looking for a way to make a large chunk of cash in a hurry.

This review continues on my website.

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