Don’t see St. Vincent for its complex characters. Though the cast is promising (Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Murray, to name a few), the movie is altogether disappointing. There are definitely no strong female characters to speak of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming lack of any multi-dimensional character, regardless of gender. I do recognize and applaud the fact, however, that the actors do the best with what they’re given, though it’s obvious that they are capable of much more.

 

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Don’t see this movie for its storyline, either, which is rife with confusing subplots, heavy religious messages and a bunch of unresolved loose ends. It centers around Oliver, a boy about ten years old, who moves to Brooklyn with his recently divorced mother, Maggie (McCarthy). Maggie is hardly ever home—she works long hours at the hospital (Oliver’s dad does not pay child support, and for some reason Oliver, Jewish, is enrolled at an expensive Catholic school), and leaves her son in the care of Vincent (Murray), the grumpy, drunken old codger with a heart of gold who lives next door.  While Maggie’s at work, Vincent takes Oliver to bars, horse races and other places unsuitable for a child, and we discover that underneath Vincent’s gruff exterior is a lovable, do-good soul. And while the film is not without its amusing moments, its “saints are all around us” theme and carefully curated moments of tear-jerkiness are nothing novel and far from unforgettable.

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If you do see St. Vincent for any reason, see it for McCarthy. Her role was a refreshing departure from what is essentially the one character she plays in almost every movie she’s in. She takes a more serious path in this film, but still manages to make the role funny and her own, in a way that didn’t seem inappropriate. This film is hard proof of her flexibility as an actor, and will hopefully open many doors for her.

St. Vincent comes out Oct. 24, and you can watch the trailer below.  

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