Casting makes a big difference in how good a movie is (or isn’t.) St. Vincent is a prime example of a movie that is completely made by good casting. Vincent is an alcoholic, acerbic, a–hole. In no way is this character likable, except for one tiny detail – Vincent is played by Bill Murray. It’s impossible to hate Bill Murray, because when you see him, you laugh – even when he is playing a giant sourpuss.
Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son, Oliver, move next door to Vincent. When Oliver loses his keys to his house to a bully, he goes to Vincent for help. Vincent is reluctant to help, but, desperate for money, he agrees on the condition that Maggie pays him babysitting money. This becomes a permanent gig for Vincent and he teaches Oliver how to gamble and fight, feeds him sardines from a can, and has his “lady of the night” companion (Naomi Watts) come over when Oliver is around. In short, Vincent is the worst possible babysitter you could ever find. Except he’s not. Vincent teaches Oliver to fight in order to protect himself from the school bully – Oliver and the bully end up as friends. Vincent only has sardines so his cat can have premium cat food. Vincent needs money so he can buy the best possible care for his Alzheimer’s inflicted wife.
St. Vincent is a funny, charming movie that would never work without Bill Murray. It is sometimes hard to root for Vincent, but Billy Murray makes you root for him, just because it’s him.
WWYT Rating: 7.5
IMDB Rating: 7.3