St. Vincent

Rated: R

         Before St. Vincent I hadn’t given much thought to my overall dislike of Bill Murray (as an actor. Of course I don’t know him or anything!). It was just one of those things. I mean, there are a few movies he’s in that I’d watch when they were on TV or something (like Ghostbusters), but for the most part I’d just avoid anything that had him in it. I can’t remember when I decided I didn’t like him, or even why. Like I said, it was just one of those things. And then I saw Murray in a recent interview on the Today Show promoting St. Vincent. In the interview Murray was calm and reserved. He spoke so softly I could barely hear him. This wasn’t the loud, obnoxious monster I’d created in my head. This was someone I could stand to watch in a movie, someone I could really like even. So I guess, although it wasn’t totally a How the Grinch Stole Christmas moment, the ice around my heart melted…just a little bit, (as far as Bill Murray’s concerned anyways!)
St. Vincent is a story of unlikely friendships. Vincent is a man set in his ways and deep in debt. His daily activities include heavy drinking, chain smoking, gambling, and spending time with a hooker named Daka, among other things. When his new neighbor Maggie, a single mother, asks him to watch her son Oliver, Vincent agrees under the assumption that he’ll be paid for such work. And while Vincent doesn’t know the first thing about children, the mentor/mentee relationship that develops is far more beneficial than either of them had imagined it could be.
        I’m going to be forthright and tell you that this film, for better or worse, has changed my position on Bill Murray. I gave it some deep thought after leaving the theater and I guess I do like quite a few of his movies. There are still plenty he’s been in that I avoid, (such as
Caddyshack, Stripes, Scrooged and What About Bob), but I think the list of things I’ve enjoyed is longer. As I mentioned before, Ghostbusters (both of them), but also Where the Buffalo Roam, Tootsie, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom and more. I’m not sure if it’s that he’s grown as an actor or if I’ve grown as a viewer, (perhaps it’s both!) but either way St. Vincent is something I’ll be adding to the “like it” list.
        Writer/director Theodore Melfi did a superb job creating a character (Vincent) that is deeper than he seems on the surface and yet oh so familiar. I’m sure almost all of you have had at least one cranking old mystery living in your midst throughout the years…I know I have more than once! And although Melfi did intend to make a movie that was sentimental and heartwarming, it’s not sickeningly so. The end result is a movie that is easily watchable, enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish. The other result is the 2 Golden Globe nominations
St. Vincent has received, with some possible Oscar nods coming down the pike as well.
        And one last thing I’ll throw in: if you have anything against Bill Murray, or the films he’s in, give this one a shot. It changed my mind…so who knows? It may just change yours as well!

St. Vincent is rated PG 13, was written and directed by Theodore Melfi and stars Bill Murray, Jaeden Lieberher, Naoimi Watts and Melissa McCarthy. It will be released on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download February 17, 2015.