★★★, Reviews
Comments 2

St. Vincent (2014)

STVINCENT

  • Directed by: Theodore Melfi
  • With: Melissa McCarthy, Bill Murray and Naomi Watts
  • 102 Minutes

Bill Murray is offering some of his time to take care of your kids the same way Tom Cruise did in Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” or perhaps even worse…

For Melissa McCarthy, an actress who so far has concentrated her talent in the comedy genre, the chance of be part of a project that stars Bill Murray may seem no big deal. The talented Murray is indeed almost a god in the world of comedy but I don’t think that McCarthy needs support in that field. Either way it was a nice idea to mix these different ways of making comedy. So before I start this review I want you to think a bit on you own expectations regarding this movie because when you finish this you’ll probably end up shocked just like I was. The return of Murray to the comedy movies after a brief stop saving paintings alongside with Mr. Clooney is a challenging movie in terms of your opinion because even though it’s pretty far from being a new Groundhog Day, St. Vincent is still a great pick for a “feel-good” movie!

Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her 12 year old son Oliver (Jaeden Liberher) move to a house next to Vincent’s place (Bill Murray). Vincent was a mean war veteran who ends up babysitting Oliver after the boy got stuck on his way from school. Vincent is broke and he needs money to pay his debts so he decides to seize the opportunity and starts charging Maggie for taking care of her son every single day after school. In the end, what seemed at first for Vincent as a great opportunity to win some money ends up being the beginning of a great friendship that will teach both Vincent and Oliver the right direction to grow up.  

The first time I saw the trailer for St.Vincent my thoughts were okay because it’s Bill Murray taking the lead in a comedy movie and because my eyes were “blessed” with some good jokes and a good atmosphere during that short time. However, I always thought that this was going to become another Melissa McCarthy movie like Identity Thief but thanks to god or to St. Vincent himself my crappy morning travelling through the city in a day without subway (if you want to visit Lisbon make sure there’s no strike being planned) improved a lot after watching the movie. First Melissa McCarthy was clearly a bit out of her safety field. I’ve never seen that woman cry like she did in this movie and I never thought she would deliver a nice and natural performance like she also did. As a mother in the middle of a divorce process, Melissa captures some of the sadness of the situation and gives a more familiar look to the picture. While trying to make her son happy alongside with extra hours at work to win more money, I remembered the first times that followed my parents’ divorce so in a way I felt touched by the natural look this was represented. Melissa’s role in the movie is to basically support her kid and to be the trigger in a powerful relationship between her son and their mean and old neighbor. In a completely different perspective, Murray plays an old and troubled man who looks seriously mean at first sight but who ends up helping everyone he likes. It’s true that he drinks, he cheats and he is probably the worst example for your kids but when I saw him doing some good actions I even forgot the fact that he was seeing a striper and paying her money to be with him. Murray plays a character whose nature changes during the movie and who only reveals his nature and who he really is thanks to Olive, the poor kid who was nagging him in the first months but who ended up being the best friend he could ever had (well his big cat doesn’t count as a friend). While Melissa McCarthy’s performance was wrapped in a dramatic atmosphere while she was dealing with her new life issues, Bill Murray delivered a less strict performance by changing his behaviors during the movie and by allowing the viewer to feel curious regarding his character.

The soundtrack in St. Vincent is also suitable for any “feel-good” movie and for most of the time the movie tries to please the viewer with a more sentimental story rather than using crappy jokes and lines. This was in my opinion a surprising move I was far from expect… However, it was the familiar atmosphere and the more sentimental approach that made me enjoy the movie. For his first feature film, Theodore Melfi did a really good job representing the feelings involved in a divorce and was also able to mix this with a more funny side provided by our good old Bill Murray. For a guy who thought that this was going to be just another comedy without substance at all, I left the theater surprised and with some tears falling from my eyes simply because of the similarities with the reality. However, St. Vincent is still far from being the perfect “feel-good” movie.

For those who are looking for calm and enjoyable experiences, St. Vincent might be the right pick for you. It’s funny, it’s sentimental and has a touching ending that made me think of those years in which we back in Portugal were able to watch movies for the entire family. A smart move to attract the masses by the Weinstein Company and a good return of Bill Murray, St. Vincent represents in a kind way what a good man is and features two pleasant and easy to enjoy performances by Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. It could have been a bit better but thanks to my somewhat low expectations, the whole experience was surprisingly effective.

See it in: IMAX | Dolby ATMOS | 3D Theaters | 2D Theaters | Rental

★★★

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2 Comments

  1. I will most likely be giving this a view, but the trailer did absolutely nothing for me. Here’s hoping the film does. Great review by the way!

    • Thanks, I must confess that since my parents are divorced the movie kind of affected me for making me remember those first rough years. Either way, it was fun but if I were you I would leave this one for the DVD release. It’s funny and sentimental but not that amazing thing one must see immediatley.

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