I have enjoyed watching the great Bill Murray for many years now and he has only gotten better with age. I particularly enjoyed all of the work he has done with Wes Anderson. So, when I first heard about ‘St. Vincent’, and the early talk about Oscars, I was certainly interested. Then I saw the first trailers and that interest mostly went out the window. If I’m totally honest with you, I kind of dreaded what this movie might be.
If you’ve seen the trailer for the film than you know that Bill Murray plays an old grouch named Vincent who takes care of a little boy named Oliver, and that Oliver’s mother is played by Melissa McCarthy (who’s character is named Maggie). The way this all comes to fruition is because Maggie has to work to many hours and does not want to lose her kid to her asshole of an ex. Of course, hiring your drunk old neighbor, who’s idea of a good time is stiffing a Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts), is probably not the best way to show how good a mom you are.
However, it does give the movie an opportunity to show us a series of scenes where Vincent teaches the kid to curse, mow the lawn, and other important things dads teach you. Some of these scenes are funny and some just seem to think that they are. This whole situation also gives the film the opportunity to let Vincent redeem his a-hole self in some small way and make the audience fall for an old, drunk, a-hole, womanizer. Did I mention that Vincent is kind of an a-hole?
The thing that saves the film (and made me surprised that I didn’t hate its clichés so much) is the cast. Bill Murray has been playing jerks for years and making them lovable. So, it’s no big surprise he can do it here. Naomi Watts is pretty good at snuffing out some character in a character that’s is written pretty thin. The movie also gets some more subtle humor and heart out of Melissa McCarthy. The kid (Jaeden Lieberher) is also pretty good. Still, the whole thing is a series of clichés that are sold by a lot of talented people.
ST. VINCENT is available on digital download now before heading to Blu-Ray™, DVD and On Demand February 17, 2015.