This was my 'Looking Forward...' movie back in December but obviously I never got around to seeing it at the cinema. Then I completely forgot about it, until a few weeks ago...
I was hunting for something to watch the other day when I stumbled across this. I had no idea what it was about, but I remembered it from Jenna's Looking Forward post!
Vincent is a miserable, alcoholic War veteran who only ventures out of him house to gamble or meet his regular (pregnant) prostitute. Due to unforeseen circumstances he ends up looking after 12 year old Oliver from next door, after his parents divorce and his mom works all hours to support them.
Bill Murray is back at his best, a grouch! He delivers his dark, dry humour effortlessly and without question is the highlight of this movie. Melissa McCarthy tones down her usual style to play Oliver's downtrodden Mother, Maggie and thank god she did, she takes a big step back to let Murray own the show. Had she had played her usual characters (The Heat, Tammy etc etc) she would completely ruined this dark comedy with nothing more than toilet humour! The most surprising transformation though was Naomi Watts as prostitute/stripper Daka, I didn't recognise her at all for the first 20 minutes.
Honestly, I couldn't stand this film. It's rare for me to hate something but the whole film irritated me. Who in their right mind would let their child find their own way home from school in a brand new town, and then not bad an eyelid about leaving them with their alcoholic next door neighbour?! Melissa McCarthy did nothing for me at all, I much prefer her comedy roles...
Its great to see Murray back on top form and in a lead role, his and Oliver's budding friendships is easy and comical to watch, especially when he puts him to work mowing his dirt! Chris O'Dowd's role as Oliver's teacher seemed a bit random to me, why was he actually in the movie, did it add any benefit. It feels like he was just included as a way to set up the ending (and the title) with Oliver's school project.
Him and Oliver were the only characters I really liked! His first scene where he's explaining the different religions in the class just cracked me up. It's exactly how it was in my Primary School, a class full of kids all with their own religions, but let's sing hymns about God!
I spent the whole film expecting it to go all gooey and sentimental, but instead they just threw Murray in there instead to mix it all up. Which is why the ending disappointed me, they kept is dry, dark and hilarious all the way through, swerved sentimentality at every corner only to end on a soppy moment. It didn't ruin it for me (i'm a sucker for a weepie) but it changed the tone of the whole film. They should have brought it back with an inappropriate comment from Vincent, but no!
Brilliantly entertaining, great cast and hilarious.
Honestly, for me, this was an un-funny Bad Santa. At least with Christmas films I can accept the things that make little sense!