By Amy Kaufman
8:00 AM EST, November 5, 2013
It's been a rough few years at the box office for Vince Vaughn.
Last summer, the actor reteamed with Owen Wilson in "The Internship" — an attempt to re-create the glory of their 2005 hit, "Wedding Crashers." But the comedy tanked at the box office, collecting just $44.6 million. It was the third flop in a row for Vaughn, after the failure of "The Watch" and "The Dilemma" — each of which grossed less than $50 million apiece.
The movies all had at least one thing in common: They were all bromances. (Vaughn was Kevin James' BFF in 2011's "The Dilemma" and fought aliens with Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade in "The Watch" last year.)
Perhaps to try to change course, the 43-year-old leaves that genre behind in "Delivery Man," Ken Scott's remake of his French-Canadian film "Starbuck," which hits theaters Nov. 22.
In the film, which premiered at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre on Sunday evening, Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a blue-collar meat delivery man who early in the film discovers he has fathered 533 children via copious sperm bank donations.
On the surface, it seems like Vaughn is doing more of the same — portraying a goofy, overgrown manchild who can't get his life together. But "Delivery Man" is designed to pull at the heartstrings more than much of his recent work, which tends to have him as the wise-guy opportunist half of a male duo. Vaughn's Wozniak may be absent-minded, but he's well-intentioned, serving as a self-proclaimed guardian angel over his kids. He saves one daughter from a possible drug overdose and visits a mentally handicapped son at a hospital.
So is Vaughn, who in August welcomed his second child, going ... soft?
The actor plays down the notion. “As much as this is a warm-hearted movie, it’s also very authentic,” the actor said somewhat defensively on the red carpet Sunday. “I wouldn’t describe it as a soft movie. It’s definitely not a polite movie.”
But just as Vaughn was selling the film's street cred, his co-star Chris Pratt was busy telling reporters how warm and fuzzy the film is.
"It does seem like an unusual premise for a family film," said Pratt, who plays Wozniak's schlubby lawyer. "But really, it's not the guffaw-type of movie that the premise would suggest. It really has a lot of heart."
He may not want to tell Vaughn that.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times