87: ST. VINCENT
Starring Bill Murray, Jaeden Lieberher, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd and Terrance Howard. Written and directed by Theodore Melfi. 103 minutes long.
Bill Murray, is everyone's favourite grumpy grandpa and it seems he's utterly cornered that market, making a new career of it in the Autumn of his years. In St. Vincent, he plays Vin a lonely, Vietnam vet, cranky pensioner with a drinking and gambling problem (he always loses) and a girlfriend in the shape of Naomi Watt's pregnant Russian pole dancer, Daka. But all is not what it seems with Vincent and when Melissa McCarthy's nurse, Maggie and her 12-year old adopted son, Oliver played by new comer, Jaeden Lieberher moves in next door and enters his life, both old man and young boy will bond, learn some valuable life lessons and grow to become better people and by the end will have created a new family dynamic for the 21st Century.
Ticking each and every generic 'old man mentors young boy and learns valuable life lesson along the way.' box on the chart, St Vincent charts no new route through the cliches and leaves no stone unturned either. Along the journey we will learn of Vin's back story and his rather sad heart break and through the joys of booze, race tracks and hookers the 12 year old will find the strength to face up to his bullies and makes a friend for life. Chris O'Dowd is there as a Catholic Priest on hand to provide gentle help and ensure the film lives up to its title.
The only thing that stops this from being a film of the week of the lesser cable channels is the presence of Bill Murray who still remains a wonderful spectacle to watch, the screen loves his jowly, wrinkly, prune-like face and it's him that will make this film succeed, it's him we come for.
It's bitter sweet, it's somewhat funny and the cast is agreeable. Overall this isn't a terrible film, but it's not Murray's best and a long way from his worst.