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Film Review: Phony ‘St. Vincent’ is Bill Murray’s Worst Choice Since ‘Garfield’

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – “Garfield, maybe” was the sole utterance of regret that iconic actor/prolific movie-golfer Bill Murray expressed in 2009’s “Zombieland” before he died. Should the adoration for this cameo resurrect him for that film’s announced sequel, Murray will hopefully denounce “St. Vincent,” his most needless and perverse career choice since vocally birthing “Garfield” (and yes, that includes getting a handjob as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 2012’s also terrible “Hyde Park on Hudson”).

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Unpromising writer/director Ted Melfi’s “St. Vincent” is a film that is so ordinary with its story construction that its only substantial charm is indeed Murray’s casting. And yet, this selling point does not need a film like this to please a crowd, as he thrills people even by starring in numerous BS urban legends. Though this shiny film won’t go away any time soon, “St. Vincent” is best taken as another joke project from Murray, like when he publicly stated after “Zombieland” that he originally thought “Garfield” was a Coen brothers film.

Melfi scripts his second step into feature filmmaking with a checklist of audience-friendly entities, where even honest and kooky characters both feel like they’re derived from sinful cliches. Gamblin’ boozehound Vincent (Murray) is a Crotchety Old Man who spends his spare money recklessly, either into the pockets of bookies, or to have bed time with a Zany Prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts, with an over-the-top Russian accent). He lives alone with his cat, rasping his way through acidic interactions with anyone in his path.

Vincent becomes an Unexpected Father Figure to a Neurotic Naive Pipsqueak named Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), whose Single Mother Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) needs a babysitter as she works weeknights. By fate that pleases neither Maggie nor Vincent, Vincent takes on the role of caretaker for Oliver. The Crotchety Old Man softens as he begins to share his life experience with Oliver, packaging wisdom as good ol’ values needed to shared with the next generation. In the film’s second act, Oliver’s Self-Effacing Teacher Brother Geraghty (Chris O’Dowd) assigns Oliver with the duty of giving “St. Vincent” its feel-good moment/titular line presentation, and the young boy begins to research Vincent’s life so that he can canonize him for a school project.

“St. Vincent” opens in Chicago on October 17th. Starring Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O’Dowd. Written and directed by Ted Melfi. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “St. Vincent”

Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Murray
Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Murray in ‘St. Vincent’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “St. Vincent”

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