102 min - Comedy | Drama
Review: Matt Mungle
We have seen Bill Murray morph into many different styles of
characters. Luckily as he ages he doesn't try to reinvent his
old self or try and trick audiences into thinking he is still
a young funny man. Instead he embraces his age and gives us an
older, gentler Murray and because of that he is witty, sarcastic,
and funnier than ever. The laughs now though are not sophomoric
or slapstick but instead they are a poke at real life and allows
us to laugh at humanity in a safe, polite way. Not to mention
he is endearing to boot.
ST. VINCENT is the story of Vincent (Murray). At first glance
you would write him off as just another crotchety old geezer who
has a bad taste in his mouth after sampling what life had to offer.
When he gets new neighbors that consist of a recently divorced
mother, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her young son, Oliver (Jaeden
Lieberher) Vincent is willing to help watch the young boy; for
a fee of course. The two unlikely pals soon create a bond that
is touching and heartwarming without getting overly gooey.
The biggest surprise of this film amy be Melissa McCarthy. Most
are used to her overly crass and crude roles (Bridesmaids, The
Heat, Identity Thief) but here she shows that she can play it
straight and gain a bit of sympathy. She plays the exasperated
single mom trying to catch a break perfectly. You invest in her
character and she brings a personal element that could make her
the mom down the street. Granted the film is about Vincent and
Oliver but she shines when called upon.
Many films have tried the old guy/young kid dynamic in the past
with horrible results. The recipe has to be just right. If the
kid is an over actor or tries too hard to be likeable it can ruin
the flick. If the old guy changes over night it becomes inconceivable.
But when each role is handled with just the right amount of seasoning
it pays off hugely; and does here.
Oliver gets to experience life with Vincent as he is dragged
along to bars and horse racing events.He is touched by Vincent
though and is able to see through the outward facade to the heart
of the man. Much of life should be seen through the eyes of a
child. The spirit of the film shines through in those moments.
Yes it is funny and the animosity and bickering between Vince
and Maggie is a treat to watch. But the nuggets are found in the
beauty of the relationship between boy and man. It culminates
in a heart stirring conclusion that may give you the sniffles.
ST. VINCENT is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including
sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language. Though
it has a kid in it you might not want your kid watching it. Adults
can separate the message from the content more so than the youngsters.
It truly is a well crafted comedy. I give it 3.75 out of 5 water
hoses. You get the power house of Murray with a wonderful surprise