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"St. Vincent" Reviewed

Angels Never leave Heaven

Angels Never leave Heaven

When will I ever learn? I haven’t trusted a film critic since Pauline Kael died but I do trust Bill Murray and I did see the coming attractions and I did believe “St. Vincent”, about a drunken asshole babysitting a young boy reeling from his parent’s divorce –sorta “About A Boy” for alcoholics, and it looked funny enough.

And it was funny enough, Melissa McCarthy gave the first performance in her career I’ve actually enjoyed, Naomi Watts is barely recognizable as a Russian prostitute (why are all hookers Russian nowadays? Is it a thing?) and Jaeden Lieberher is excellent as 11 year old Oliver.

But Bill Murray?

I have seen this shtick so often now and it is funny and off putting, and he does unlovable very well but as the movie wears on the more he lives up to the Saint in his name and it gets annoying.  Whether saving  200 of his fellow soldiers in ‘Nam or taking care of a pregnant hooker or teaching a kid how to box, Murray is like as though his Scrooged had never actually needed a transition.

As the movie, with some admittedly funny set pieces, goes its merry way, nothing approaching reality veers its ugly head, it is all nonsense and lies with nothing remotely close to human reality.

I don’t mind fantasy if that’s what I have on my plate, but don’t serve it up as some realness about humans and goodness hidden in a brittle bottle of booze. No alcoholic is remotely like Vincent, nobody recovers from a stroke the way Vincent does, and when he has no way out of a situation guess what? His problem drops dead. Plus, what the hell was that whipping out his Grandkids bank account? What Grandkid? What kid?

Bill Murray is a great actor, and the end credits wih Murray singing along to “Shelter From The Storm” is something great with very very little, but the story is a leaky mess and Bill can’t save it.

Grade: C+

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