Cast: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts
Maggie (Melissa McDonald) is a new, single mom, who moves into Brooklyn with her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Both have to adjust to a new school, new work hours and a new cranky neighbor. Unfortunately, right next door lives Vincent (Bill Murray) – a very crotchety, unhappy, old S.O.B. with little purpose and with too much pain in his life. Due to unforeseen circumstances Vincent quickly becomes Oliver’s nanny. Maggie knows no one else and Vincent could use the cash.
After-school hours go from watching old TV shows to lessons in self-defense. The new kid in school is small, and easy to pick on. Oliver knows nothing about defending himself until the war veteran shows him a punch of two. Without Maggie’s knowledge or approval the two hit the bars and the race track. Oliver meets Vincent’s “Lady of the Night” friend Daka (Naomi Watts) who shows up once a week. While Vincent is showing Oliver “life” the boy has never experienced, albeit inappropriate for a kid, it’s evident that those after-school life lessons go both ways.
Theodore Melfi wrote and directed the film. With permission Bill Murray put some of his script in his own words which allows the funny Bill to be seen through the unhappy old man. It’s great to see Melissa McCarthy is a more serious and sensitive role – she offers an accurate example of single mom’s trying to genuinely “be all.” Naomi Watt’s does an incredible job of being the pregnant Russian dancer/hooker who knows only how to turn tricks. She doesn’t appear to have many instincts about motherhood. And Chris O’Dowd’s role as priest/teacher is a character we all wish we would have had in school. Kind, funny, challenging.
Arruga! = 1 (on the edge of R)
Fidget Factor = 0 (109 minutes)
Age Range = 15 and up
Overall grade = B