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What's Streaming: THE BILL MURRAY STORIES, It just doesn't matter

Imagine walking into a party and making your way to the kitchen to find Bill Murray doing the dishes. Strange, you may say. Impossible, right? It may sound like an urban legend whispered in the back rooms of bars or told over a beer with friends who won’t believe you, but it’s not a legend.

“The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons from a Mythical Man” is a documentary directed by Tommy Avallone for Netflix that may sound like a bunch of party stories, but that would be just a sampling of what makes Bill Murray such a legend. At the root of it all is his profound mantra one could find in many of his movies: “It just doesn’t matter anymore.”

Yep, that one line chanted with hysterical reverie in the film “Meatballs” nearly 40 years ago (yikes) is the backbone to a philosophy by a very open and generous man. “The Bill Murray Stories” is a movie/documentary that will put a smile on your face.

The countless tales told by everyday people living everyday lives are striking. From making friends with strangers to being a background figure in a crowd, Murray lives with generosity and humility that break tradition with celebrity posturing. Can you imagine sitting on a bar stool and turning to see Murray sitting next to you? If that’s not enough, as you strike up a conversation with him, others who approach for Murray’s autograph are dismissed with a simple sentence: “Thank you, but I’m in a conversation right now.”

Who would have thought that the class clown of “SNL” would become the Dalai Lama of Hollywood socialites, a down-to-earth man who would be more likely to pull out a roll of bills to pay for the last round of drinks at a bar when no one else has a dollar to their name than to host a party at a swanky location of his choosing?

For all intents and purposes, Bill Murray (a household name by now) should be either an intensely private individual or ridiculously egocentric. Somehow neither is the case. Bill has moved through life making others feel better about themselves and creating an atmosphere of goodwill and fun.

Can you imagine setting up an after-show party with your band and in comes Murray helping carry in amps, drum kits, etc.? No one knows him and yet they do. Everyone whispers: “Is that Bill?” and he will carry on a conversation with you as if he were no one special. Can you imagine when the cops come to tell you to lower the volume of the party and Bill Murray dances a jig and bangs away with a tambourine in the cop’s face? It happened and it was caught on tape.

According to Psychology Today, the words “It just doesn’t matter” has been “ attributed to nihilists, existentialists, and absurdists as a mantra.” Those words indicate, for those few, that life is meaningless. That’s not how Murray sees it (despite being perhaps the quintessential absurdist). If you were to ask him what it’s all about, he would most likely smile without answering and fade into the crowd.

What it means, it would seem for Murray, is to not sweat the small stuff. Is that not what the ridiculous monologue in “Meatballs” is all about? To do your best, to make an impact on the world, to subscribe to passion and not to worry about the outcome? “It just doesn’t matter anymore. IT just doesn’t matter anymore. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE!”

Who would have thought that the class clown of “SNL” would become the Dalai Lama of Hollywood socialites, a down-to-earth man who would be more likely to pull out a roll of bills to pay for the last round of drinks at a bar when no one else has a dollar to their name than to host a party at a swanky location of his choosing?

Maybe it’s more of a “going with the flow” type thing. Whatever the case, it’s a successful attitude that keeps everyone at ease. No armor, no fake niceties, no lavish parlor tricks. Why? Because it just doesn’t matter anymore.

To reach Brian Fitz-Gerald email him at bfitz-gerald@rosebudmedia.com.

The legendary scene from "Meatballs" circa 1979.
A scene from "The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons from a Mythical Man," as Bill Murray attends the "Rock the Kasbah" panel on day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 9, 2015, in San Diego, Calif. (The Associated Press)