St. Vincent is a film that stars Bill Murray, so you know it's going to be at least somewhat entertaining. It follows the story of Vincent (Bill Murray, of course), a grouchy old man living alone. He's a drunk, plus he spends most of his nights with "the lady of the night," Daka (Naomi Watts). Then one day he discovers that he's got new neighbours, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). They don't get off to a good start, but when Maggie offers to pay Vincent to babysit Oliver, well, their awful start is put behind them and a story of friendship begins.
Bill Murray is agreeably the most likeable guy on the planet. No matter what story you hear about him, it's going to be an awesome one. We're talking about the guy who walked into a bar and started serving drinks to people, except he would give them whatever goddamn drink he wanted to. He is, in every sense of the word, legendary, and I haven't even discussed his acting yet. He's not only a great guy, but he's also a phenomenal actor, bringing us such classics as Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and many many others. If I really wanted to, I could walk down to my local JB Hi Fi and pick up any Bill Murray movie and I'm positive I'd find some sort of enjoyment in it. This is Bill freaking Murray we're talking about. In St. Vincent, since it's probably a good idea that I start talking about it, he's great. Duh. He's the best part of the film. He's arrogant, but in a likeable sort of way. Why? Because he's Bill Murray, that's why.
Believe it or not, St. Vincent is every bit as likeable and charming as Bill Murray himself. It's a sincere film that's full of heart and humour, plus BILL FREAKING MURRAY. It means well and this pays off, making for a film that's easy to digest and just as pleasurable to eat. It's a hilarious romp from start to finish, chiming in some seriously memorable one liners. Opening with a shot of Bill Murray in a bar telling the jokes, the mood is set for the remained of the movie, and it's an enjoyable mood at that.
What I love most about this film is Bill Murray's character, although I'm sure you're already bored about me discussing him so I won't. Maybe. While he's hilarious, the supporting cast also do a rather good job, even if they're overshadowed by Murray. Naomi Watts may not have the best accent around, but she's still good in the role. Great, even. Then there's Melissa McCarthy, who's once again proving out to be a mixed bag, sometimes giving good performances like this and sometimes giving performances like Tammy (although to be fair, I haven't seen Tammy, nor do I intend to). But it's young Jaden Lieberher who comes as the biggest surprise. His character obviously has great chemistry with Murray and this shows, or maybe they didn't have any chemistry and the performance is just so good that I thought they did. Who knows?
There's even an emotional presence that swoops in during the second half. While the first half is fun, the second half is both fun and tear jerking, and for multiple reasons too. Some would describe it as overly sentimental, but me, well, I'm blinded by the fact that this movie stars Bill Murray and so I didn't think that way at all. To me, the sentiment works. It dragged me in and it fiddled with my heart. Oh St. Vincent, you're such a good movie, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
To sum up, St. Vincent is a romp from start to finish, featuring an as always great performance by Bill Murray, some almost as great, if not slightly overshadowed performances from the supporting cast, plenty of humour and a lot of heart.
3 1/2 Stars