Grouchy old Vincent (Bill Murray) befriends his bullied 12-year-old neighbour (Jaeden Lieberher) after the boy’s mum (Melissa McCarthy) recruits him as a babysitter.
Without Murray’s curmudgeonly charm, this comedy drama would be too schmaltzy by half, but his appealingly appalling sourpuss prevents the film from getting too sweet.
McCarthy, playing things straight, is excellent as the hard-pressed single mum, who reluctantly recruits Vincent, little realising that the after-school activities he favours include hanging out at the racetrack and in shady bars. And Naomi Watts, going hilariously over the top, is a scream as the Russian prostitute who is pregnant with Vincent’s child.
Murray’s character turns out to have a heart of gold, of course, but we shouldn’t hold that against him.