Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard, Chris O’ Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher
Studio: The Weinstein Company

“St. Vincent” wants to be many things. It wants to be a serious drama. It wants to be a tale of ribald comedy with a kid. But, it also wants to have heart in a way that belongs more to an edgy sitcom than a motion picture. But, look at this cast. What went wrong here? Nobody turns in a bad performance and the direction works. What ultimately happens is that the film doesn’t tackle anything major without treading back into standard domestic issues.

Bill Murray can do no wrong, but he can star a ton of middlin’ flicks. While this film is being propped up to garner some easy Award recognition for Murray, I just don’t see it happening. Murray carries the script on his back, but there’s not a lot you can do with standard comedy tropes. The kid and Vincent bond and learn through various shenanigans. Then, Melissa McCarthy comes to love Vincent when she sees the man at his most vulnerable. Naomi Watts shows up to convince us that she can play a pregnant Russian stripper.

I admire the cast, I admire Murray’s relationship with the kid and I enjoyed Melfi’s script. That being said, the three components aren’t strong enough to make a movie worth taking a trip to the theater. More than anything, this is the kind of release that keeps home entertainment alive. That’s not a bad thing, as every movie doesn’t have to be Awards bait. What happened to just enjoying well meaning comedies about kids trying to find saintly father figures to replace Scott Adsit? That used to be a thing in American cinema and I’m glad that it’s making a comeback.


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