St. Vincent (2014)

As a UK script consultant, UK Script editor  and script writer for hire, I’ve only just caught up with St. Vincent, a lovely comedy which features Bill Murray at his very best.

This is a heart warming piece, played down and quite emotional by the end. Murray’s character manages to remain caustic throughout the film, so the emotion and the heart of the film really belongs to Jaeden Martell as the little kid that Murray falls into babysitting.

The cast are all pitch perfect and Melissa McCarthy is very good as the single mum, struggling with money, divorce and a pressured work environment who has little choice but to leave her son with the alky next door.

Writer and director Theodore Melfi has done a great job of this, these films, although deceptively simple are harder to pull off than they look, and the tone remains perfect throughout and the film and promptly delivers tears at the end.

Where Melfi shows real skill however is the depiction of Vincent’s everyday life, his gambling and drinking in the local bars. At times, the film began slowly to remind me of Trees Lounge, which was the directorial debut of Steve Buscemi back in the mid 90s.

Trees Lounge is a different beast to St Vincent and was a very authentic and languid picture of Buscemi’s own struggle with alcohol. Watching St. Vincent I was struck by the honesty of the sections around Vincent’s boozing, in what is at the end of the day a sweet comedy.

Bill Murray alone is worth celebrating, and St. Vincent is a great piece to enjoy Bill being as close to Bill as we can get without actually playing himself.  You can’t go wrong with this, and kids and adults alike will be charmed.  As I said, the film is deceptively simple – but that’s an art in itself.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and script doctor for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on or hire him on Peopleperhour

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham will be released in 2020.