If I were to choose the closest thing to a comedy god, it would have to be Bill Murray. 

Even if people don’t like some of his films, it’s hard to refute that he is one of the most iconic comedic figures to emerge in the business.

He has a specific style of humor that nobody has been able to emulate.

He’s Bill Murray and nobody will ever be able to take that away from him.

This week here he is once again, to prove that he still has it in him, to make us laugh and cry at the same time.

This is “St. Vincent.”

Maggie Bronstein [Melissa McCarthy] and her son Oliver [Jaeden Lieberher] just wanted to move into their new home with no trouble. Instead, what they got was Vincent [Bill Murray], a next-door neighbor with a slew of problems.

Their first encounter isn’t so friendly, but when Maggie needs a babysitter for Oliver, Vincent begrudgingly takes up her offer.

At first, Vincent remains distant and rude, all the while Oliver is nothing but kind.

But over time, Vincent realizes what’s in front of him. At the same time, Oliver realizes why Vincent is the way he is.

I’m not going to sit here and act like this is the first time I’ve seen a story like this.

But I will give it a chance, if there is fresh talent attached to it and a good screenplay.

Bill Murray’s casting locked me in from the get-go.

Bill has gained such a great reputation among the years, with a few missteps along the way.

But for the most part, he’s a solid actor.

This time around, he utilizes his comedic and dramatic abilities to give life to a humorous, but damaged, character.

Right from the opening, we see that his loneliness affects how he lives his life.

But when his new neighbors move in, he’s not expecting to be friendly.

His transition from an old grump to a decent human being is warranted.

The transformation is all done through character development moments that affect his well-being, as well as the people around him.

But don’t worry, Bill Murray’s classic sense of humor remains intact.

Thanks to this film, I won’t have to remember Melissa McCarthy for “Tammy” this year.

It is one of the worst movies to come out this year, but this proves that she can do more than act like a moron with no common sense.

Instead, here she plays a very caring and concerned mother, only looking out for her child.

She can crack a joke, but she always remains a responsible authority figure.

Jaeden Lieberher is the newcomer in this film and he was quite enjoyable.

Oliver is meant to be smart and have a sense of humor, but he’s also shy and timid. Whenever he has a scene with Bill, he’s able to hold his own.

These two have great chemistry together, especially when Murray plays the highly-unorthodox mentor.

Amidst all this greatness, there are some flaws. For instance, Naomi Watts plays a pregnant Russian prostitute that spends time with Vincent.

Her character adds something to the story, but the character herself is groan-worthy at times.

There were next-to-no jokes from her that made me laugh or even chuckle.

Overall, I believe that it would have been a better idea to revise her character.

Also, while I did feel the heart-strings being tugged at, the sentimentality is played a little too much.

It’s understandable to have some sweet and heartfelt moments, but of course, there are those moments where they just lay one on top of another and it becomes too much.

While it’s not a big deal, there is a sub-plot about Vincent and his bookie that is dropped about halfway through the film.

It could have been cut out to save time and add more focus to Vincent’s character.

Nevertheless, despite all these missteps, “St. Vincent” is an entertaining experience.

Bill Murray manages to display both humor and emotion, with no trouble whatsoever. If you take the family, they may have a good time.


Rating: B-

Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at mbilodeau@keene-equinox.com

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