When Bill Murray isn’t busy crashing wedding engagement photoshoots and bachelor parties, crooning karaoke with total strangers, tending bar at SXSW, rolling with the Wu-Tang, and generally being awesome, he occasionally makes movies. Given that the acting legend has turned himself into a mythical meme generator in the latter stage of his career, this may come as somewhat of a shock. But it’s true; in 2014 alone, Murray has appeared in roles big and small, ranging from the likes of The Monuments Men to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
For Murray’s devoted patrons, there’s even more of him to go around this fall, in the shape of St. Vincent. At a glance, it’s a movie that tries to have its cake and eat it too, playing off of Murray’s loveable jerk persona for a heartwarming endgame. The film’s first trailer, posted above, lays out the story’s basic through line with clarity: Murray portrays Vincent, a disgruntled, hard drinking war veteran with a misanthropic streak in him a mile wide. He likes nobody. Nobody likes him.
Seems fair enough. But then Vincent gets a new neighbor, recent divorcee Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son, Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher). For the curmudgeonly Vincent, this is a nightmare scenario, but over time, he inexplicably starts to warm to the kid and they bond; Vincent begins watching Oliver after school, teaching him how to stand up for himself in between ill advised trips to racetracks, bars, and a strip club that employs Naomi Watts’ Eastern European lady of the night.
Think of St. Vincent as a blend of Gran Torino, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Bad Santa, movies in which roughly sculpted men take a shine to precocious youths in need of coarse forms of guidance. Where, exactly, the film will fall on the scale between each of the three aforementioned pictures remains in contest, of course; maybe all that anyone needs to know is that it’s a Bill Murray joint, which should make it worth viewing on the merits of his mere presence. A little Murray goes a long way. A lot of Murray goes farther than that.
There’s no doubt that St. Vincent contains its share of cloying, manipulative elements, just based on the tenor of the footage seen in the clip; there’s a tried and true formula at work here, no matter what the trailer might have you believe. But there’s almost as much chance that the film ends up being a blast anyways, riding on Murray’s performance for boozy laughs. If nothing else, it’ll just remind us all how badly we want to hang out with him ourselves.
St. Vincent arrives in theaters on October 24th, 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Movies