I’ll start this review with the thing that brought me into this film with big expectations – Mr. Bill Murray. Now, if he were to see this he would possibly consider me a fool. He would probably point out that with so many intricate details that go into a film it’s impossible to put so much weight on him. This is where I laugh because who ever said that I’m concerned with all the intricacies??
Melissa McCarthy plays Maggie, a struggling single mother in the midst of a divorce. She moves to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver. She is excited about their new house and her new job since it will all prove that she is fit and able to care for her child. Problem is the new job requires her to work very long hours, so she is forced to leave Oliver in the care of Vincent (Bill Murray), the next door neighbor whom they met after their moving crew dropped a tree limb on his car. First impression – ruined. Vincent, agreeing to babysit only for the cash, isn’t slowed down by the boy. He takes Oliver along on his trips to the race track, strip club and dive bar. What ensues is the formation of an unlikely friendship. Oliver begins to see Vincent as a mentor and, against all odds and everyone’s good judgment, sees the good in him.
This movie is speckled with so many amusing moments. It had me from smile to frown; from inspired to let down. I loved how it was so honest about the way we live and why we live that way. It paints a picture of struggle and the domino effect we experience along with those struggles.
The casting could not have been more perfect. I read that the film might not have ever been made had Murray not agreed to it. Do you know why this is? This is because Vincent, from the get go, is a low life. He smells of alcohol, never cleans his house, always wears the same clothes, and spends his time and money on prostitutes – pregnant ones at that. Now Murray is not that!! But he is an artist, an actor. And this film needed someone that could go there. It got what it needed. Murray impresses me yet again and, coupled with Jaeden Lieberher as Oliver, tells a story of revealed truths. In this book, the cover definitely does not tell the whole story. We learn of Vincent and what he is capable of and grow to love Oliver with his wit and charisma for that age. Melissa and Naomi Watts also contribute in their own ways, adding to the storyline that in one way or another has to come together.
The only thing missing in this film is a gangster with a gun out to get Vincent. Oh…. Wait. That’s in there too. I’m not including any spoilers in this one so you will have to log onto Netflix RIGHT NOW AND HIT PLAY!!!