'St. Vincent' is a very Bill Murray movie starring Bill Murray

City Paper

Bill Murray is overrated, and it’s not anybody’s fault. It doesn’t mean Bill Murray is bad or anything, he’s great, it’s just that Bill Murray has reached the point of Total Media Saturation. Bill Murray is Godhead: He is on stickers people put on their cars, just his calm, knowing, and Bill Murray face, and that face is on T-shirts—probably not seeing a fucking dime from the sale of them—and Bill Murray is The Buddha, he is enigmatic, he contains the Answer to the mysteries of Life, he is a legend and he is frequently bigger than the things he participates in, so one has to work hard, as an audience member, sitting on one’s ass, eating one’s popcorn in a movie theater, to put oneself in a frame of mind as to be able to sufficiently suspend one’s disbelief and see through all the surface-level Bill Murray-ness, in order to absorb what Bill Murray is doing, to accept Bill Murray without reservation, without pre-judgment, in order to properly appreciate, and that’s why we went to see this movie, because it has Bill Murray in it, starring, even. Lots of Bill Murray!

You will love this movie if you love Bill Murray. He is the title character, “St. Vincent,” and that’s a spoiler, but because this is the title of the movie, don’t get mad at us, get mad at the movie, for the spoiler-ing part. Otherwise, this is a heart-warming and touching movie, despite our cynical eye spotting the mechanisms for the tugging of the heartstrings, with humor, and pathos, and melancholy romance, this movie will cause tears, Bill Murray will cause tears, and there’s no way we woulda went to go see this if it didn’t have a whole bunch of Bill Murray in it, which is one of those paradoxical/hypothetical discussion-situations, because maybe this film would have been just as good, better, even, starring a non-Bill Murray actor, but that’s one hit too many from the movie-bong . 

Let’s back up off that and lean in on Bill Murray, playing a titular aging man living in a dumpy Brooklyn house, and he has an accent that sorta comes and goes during the movie, but he’s great, he is a fully realized character, with wonderful flaws, and we believe he is real, and he looks awful, and he meets Melissa McCarthy, playing new neighbor Maggie, and Ms. McCarthy has her own fame-baggage, because not only is she a total hard-working hambone with heart in major motion pictures (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat”), but she stars in a successful show on Television, “Mike & Molly,” which has been on since 2010, and there are certain expectations we have after our continued exposure to Melissa McCarthy, but she dials it down and makes us forget for the speedy 102 minutes of this picture that she is the lady who kept throwing her leg up on the doorway of the jet plane in “Bridesmaids.” 

Also, Maggie has a child, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), who is pretty much a typical precocious movie-kid, even though he has weaknesses, but he is fun to watch, and there is also the great Terrence Howard, and the wonderful Chris O’Dowd, and a stripper played by Naomi Watts, who also has attempted to lose herself in an accent, and she does a way better job than Bill Murray, but this is a Bill Murray movie, and he will get an Oscar nomination, at least, for this, but we’re putting our dough on Michael Keaton in “Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” 

Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy