Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Today I present a movie I like very much in spite of its stereotypical characters. It's St. Vincent (2014, Rated PG-13, Available on DVD).
A mom named Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next to grumpy old Vincent (Bill Murray). Because Maggie has to work long hours, Vincent ends up babysitting Oliver. Vincent drinks quite a bit, takes Oliver to the track, and introduces Oliver to his pregnant prostitute/friend, Daka (Naomi Watts).
This movie is about as trite and stereotypical as it gets. We have the crusty old s.o.b. who is really a good guy, the kid who is smaller than everyone else and gets beat up until the crusty old s.o.b. teaches the kid to fight, an Irish priest who teaches the kid's class at his new school, the hooker with a heart of gold, the nasty mobster-type guy who is determined to collect from Vincent (played, of course, by Terrence Howard who is black because almost all bad guys are black), and the tenacious single mom who works so much to keep food on the table that she doesn't have enough time to spend with her son.
Now take all those hackneyed, uninspired characters and plot points and throw them out the window. Yes, they're still in the movie, but you know about them; therefore, you can ignore them and lose yourself in this tender, funny, poignant film.
The characters and the actors who play them are great. Never mind that Bill Murray's accent comes and goes from time to time. Enjoy what's good in the movie. The kid who plays Oliver is great. Daka and Vince are funny when they shop for stuff the baby needs. I'm especially pleased by Melissa McCarthy's performance because it's not stupid. She creates more of a real person than she has in a long time. She's a little bit like Sookie on The Gilmore Girls (if you aren't familiar with The Gilmore Girls and shame on you if you aren't, Melissa McCarthy played Sookie throughout the series, and she was great).
By the time you get to Oliver's presentation, you might have a tear or four in your eyes. Don't stop watching when you get to the closing credits. They're amusing.
I watched St. Vincent on a DVD delivered to me by my faithful friends at Netflix. This movie is not for children unless you're okay with them viewing a movie with a drunk liar who teaches a kid how to bet on the horses and explains that Daka is a lady of the night. It might also make your kids scared that you'll get divorced--if you aren't already. Teens? They might like it. As I always say, see the movie before you decide to let a young person watch. Cherdo, Gonzo might enjoy this one, and he's old enough for it as far as I know.
St. Vincent earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.
Infinities of love,
Janie Junebug, who continues to edit as the mad woman she is