St. Vincent is a predictable and yet heartwarming tale about the saints you don’t recognize immediately in your own neighborhood. Maggie (a charming Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (very cute Jaeden Lieberher) move next door to a foul mouthed drunk codger, Vincent (an irascible Bill Murray). She’s trying to start over through divorce. Oliver, a runt, has to endure the trials of being the new kid at St. Patrick’s school. He’s beat up, Vincent teaches him to fight. He needs some after school care. Vincent needs money, so agrees to sit. He takes the kid to the horse races, to a bar, and of course, teaches him some life lessons.
We do see Vincent help a pregnant “lady of the night” who’s his friend (Naomi Watts with a Russian accent). We see him visit his wife who’s now in a home. She doesn’t recognize him, but his love shines through and he does her weekly laundry. He’ll do anything to keep her in the nice assisted living. Tough times can call for desperate measures, and we see Vincent at his worst too. He suffers a stroke, and Oliver stays close. They all work to get Vincent back on his feet. When the teacher priest (Chris O’Dowd) assigns a project – report on a saint you know – Oliver does research on his unsung hero.
St. Vincent was an entertaining movie matinee. Plenty of chuckle lines, and a chance to sniffle too. Bill Murray is a loose cannon these days, and is great in this part. He can be snarky and yet caring. The young actor is winsome, tough, and holds his own. All in all, Vincent is right when he says , “You don’t know me.” We really don’t know the true story of our neighbors and their lives, and often we should give folks more credit. St. Vincent doesn’t count as church, but maybe one rosary bead credit.