Thursday, October 8, 2015

MOVIE WEEKEND: ST. VINCENT

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.

Happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, who continues to edit as the mad woman she is

33 comments:

  1. I truly enjoy this film despite the typical characters. It all is because of the writing and the acting.

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    1. Exactly. I think we enjoy a lot of the same movies, Birgit, which means you are quite intelligent.

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  2. Hi, Janie Junebug!

    Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors and Naomi Watts is #1 on my list of favorite actresses. If they take all the familiar stereotypes and run with them as you claim they do, then it must be a great movie, one that I'd like to see. I have the mental age of a 5 year old but I think I can handle the adult situations.

    Thanks for the review, dear Janie!

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    1. Don't be silly! You don't have the mental age of a five year old. You're no more than three.

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    2. And I remembered when I chose it that you like Naomi Watts. She's very good in it. Her character is fun and interesting because she plays the part.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed it and am glad to get the review, since I saw Sandra Bullock and Jenny McCarthy in 'The Heat' and didn't enjoy it because of the language. Possibly this will be a bit tamer because of the PG-13 rating. I think Jenny McCarthy has a ton of talent (and of course, Sandra Bullock is the best!)

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    1. I think you're a little confused, new friend. Jenny McCarthy is a former Playboy playmate who has appeared on Broadway in a musical. I think she's done some TV, too. Melissa McCarthy is in St. Vincent. I like Sandra Bullock, but she's not in this movie. I haven't heard of The Heat, but now that I know you didn't like it, I won't bother watching it. St. Vincent has some profanity. It wasn't too much for me, but I have a potty mouth.

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  4. I really enjoyed this movie, too. More than I expected I would. Loved seeing Melissa McCarthy acting normally, too!! I don't care for the overacting slapstick humor, but I loved her in Gilmore Girls so it was refreshing. The boy was great and despite the drinking and gambling and whoring--Bill's character grew on me--LOL! :)

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    1. I like Bill Murray a lot in this. He's good in Wes Anderson's movies, too, but St. Vincent is completely different. What a relief to see Melissa McCarthy in a mature role that showcases her true talent.

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  5. I liked this one! Boyfriend and I watched it a couple of months back. Not as LOL as I thought, but cute/sweet for sure.

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    1. I think I laughed out loud once, but I don't laugh at movies and TV shows very often. I tend to think, Oh, that's kind of funny.

      I don't have the energy to laugh.

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  6. We enjoyed this movie too. Bill Murray rocks and so does Melissa McCarthy. It was nice seeing her play a non-zany character for a change.

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    1. It sure is. She's more like Sookie on The Gilmore Girls. I loved everyone on that show.

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  7. I like Bill Murray, but this film is unknown to me. I'll have to keep this one in mind.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I didn't know about it until recently. I don't remember if Netflix told me I'd like it, or if I saw a trailer and thought it might be good.

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  8. Replies
    1. Let me know what you think, please. I love finding out how my friends feel about the movies I like--or don't like.

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  9. Melissa McCarthy does play some goofy characters. I'm glad this a is good role for her.

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    1. She's sooooo much better in this. I didn't care much for Identity Thief--I think that's the one with Jason Bateman. I didn't bother with Tammy. I admit Bridesmaids made me laugh once or twice, but most of it is gross-out humor.

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  10. Not a great movie, but I found it sweet and entertaining.

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  11. Replies
    1. Well, good! I know you don't buy a lot of movies.

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  12. It's not a movie I would pick out, but I'd watch it if it was on TV. Our library gets some new movies. I'll have to look to see if this one is there. With them it's sometimes a budget thing. I watched Boyhood from there and Theory of Everything.

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    1. I love Boyhood, and The Theory of Everything is quite good.

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  13. << And I remembered when I chose it that you like Naomi Watts. She's very good in it. Her character is fun and interesting because she plays the part. >>

    If you never watched it you MUST see the 1991 Australian miniseries Brides of Christ. It's one of Naomi's earliest acting performances and it is superb!

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    1. Naomi plays one of the students at a Roman Catholic convent school in Sydney in the early to mid 60s.

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  14. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Funny and moving.

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  15. I wanted to see this movie but forgot.
    Thanks for reminding me about it.
    Terrific review.

    cheers, parsnip

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