Listen, you guys, I love Bill Murray too. He learned to love Ned Ryerson. He rides a horse onto Kimmel with a dress on. He crashes parties. But I am sorry to say that I could not get behind St. Vincent. It was not a bad movie, but it was just not the movie for me. Let’s start with the good part first, which is that this is another movie that is built entirely around the concept that we, the audience, want to hang out with Bill. This is not a bad premise for a movie, since, yes, I would totally want to hang out with Bill, and so we have a list of movies that help us fulfill that fantasy. Groundhog Day was basically Andie McDowell getting to hang out with Bill for us. Rushmore was us watching Jason Schwartzman hang out with Bill. Lost in Translation was the most straightforward of this genre, where Scarlett Johansson did literally nothing but hang out with Bill and we were all jealous that she got to. So, trust me, I am not knocking this as a way to structure a movie. This time it’s an adorable little kiddo who gets to hang out with Bill, and sure, ok, I like adorable little kiddos. Sit back, relax, let’s watch some stellar Bill Murray hang out times!
That’s the part that worked for me, and now I’ll tell you two things that did not. One: grumpy misfit man with a heart of gold. OVER IT. We have a proliferation of grumpy misfit men with hearts of gold in movie land, everyone. I like the idea that we should have empathy for misfits, because they are human under there. But on the other hand? Asshole behavior ain’t cute. Even when Bill Murray is being the asshole. I object to the cute-ification of assholery. I think I would change my mind on this if I felt like it would be ok for ladies to be assholes with hearts of gold, but that doesn’t happen that much.
On a related tip, the second thing that didn’t work for me was that the whole thing of it is supposed to revolve around the fact that Vincent is a saint. Like, he is grumpy and crusty and foul and disgusting and mean but under that, he cares about the people he loves and therefore: saint. Like, they actually use the word saint. That would be ok if poor Melissa McCarthy wasn’t standing there, off to the side, being the hardworking, steadfast, giving, strong, funny mom to the kiddo in this movie. Like, she was kind of an actual saint, no assholery anywhere. Just straight up. So when the little kid makes the big speech at the end about how saintly crankface Bill Murray is, I wanted someone to be like EX-SQUEEZE ME WHAT ABOUT THAT PARENT RIGHT THERE WORKING HER CABOOSE OFF THIS ENTIRE TIME YOU LITTLE INGRATE. Like, the injustice of it. Ladies are just expected to be saints, I guess. Dudes can be terrible a lot of the time, but if they care somewhat, they get a medal.
So, nope. Still love you, Bill.
Digital Witness, St. Vincent