I’ve loved Bill Murray for most of my life. It’s not like this is a secret, but what with the mixed reviews his new film Hyde Park On Hudson has been getting, I figure we might all need a little reminder as to why Bill Murray is totally unfuckwithable. I haven’t seen the movie myself, but if it’s bad, there’s no way that that’s Bill Murray’s fault. Because he is Bill Murray.
There are many reasons to love this man, but here are just a few.
1.) He’s equally adept at comedy and tragedy
A true artist is able to find the pathos in humor and the humor in pathos, and Bill Murray has always done this with flying colors, whether he was fighting gophers in Caddyshack or his own inner demons in Lost In Transation. Just looking at Bill Murray’s wizened face might make me want to laugh or cry, depending what kind of expression he’s wearing. Sometimes both at once! Can a single one of his contemporaries do that? Sorry, Chevy Chase, but I don’t think so.
2.) But really, let’s talk about tragedy
Because I am an emotional person, I must admit I like Bill Murray’s sad movies the most, especially Lost In Translation, because Scarlett Johansson has my haircut in it and I can kind of pretend like it’s me having a weird, awkward, near-romance with Bill Murray. That’s the thing about young girls and old guys: they can both be really brooding and “WTF AM I DOING?” about life and love, so sometimes they bond unexpectedly. But when it comes to the actual sex part, more tortured weirdness happens, because ew, you do not actually want to do that. If that doesn’t make for good cinema, I don’t know what does.
Some people (i.e. the ones who are too dumb to tell the difference between Wes Anderson films) say Bill Murray plays the same character in every movie. That’s obviously not true at all. But what if it was? Bill Murray’s characters are great. It would be a treat of the highest order to see any single character extended across several movies. That’s why I love it when Bill Murray gets to be in sequels.
3.) He takes on a wide variety of roles
Bill Murray has played a sea captain, a golfer, an SNL cast member, Hunter S. Thompson, various existential truth seekers, Polonius, a ghostbuster, a cartoon cat, a badger, and now, freaking FDR, just to name a few. And despite looking like, well, Bill Murray, he convinces you he is every single one of those people.
4.) He inspires his fellow artists
At least 14 works of music have been written about Bill Murray, and probably a lot more. Watching him in movies makes you want to go out and create something of your own.
5.) He’s very hands on about his career
Bill Murray has never had an agent. If you want to talk to him about something, you pick up the phone and you call him.
6.) He’s picky about which projects he takes on, but he’s not a snob
Only Bill Murray would act in Jim Jarmusch‘s The Limits Of Control the same year he acted in the Ghostbusters video game. The man doesn’t see “high” and “low,” only worthy and unworthy.
7.) He has a highly developed sense of fun and mischief
You know that urban legend about Bill Murray running into someone on the street and giving them a noogie or whatever, and then saying “no one will ever believe you”? The mere fact that he refuses to deny it shows that he’d rather keep hope alive. (It is totally true, BTW.) And some people think it’s weird that he keeps popping up at places frequented by young people (chilling at Brooklyn’s McKibben lofts, dispensing tequila shots no matter what people had actually ordered at SXSW), but I think it just shows how young at heart he is and will always be.
In conclusion: Bill Murray is the tits. You should see him in Hyde Park On Hudson and everything else he does, because even the most shiteous movie will be rescued by his flawless performance. I seriously love you, Bill Murray. Please don’t ever change or die. But if you do die, you’ll live forever in your fine work on the silver screen. BILL MURRAY NOW. BILL MURRAY 4 EVER!