A dramedy means drama/comedy and CHARLIE BARTLETT is a perfect example of an excellent dramedy. The acting is superb and the storyline is engaging. The right people play the right roles. For a teen movie, it sure does cover a lot of issues that deal with adulthood and adolescence. All the youth of the nation, all the young people of today’s generation, go watch… this movie, you might just learn something valuable.
A wealthy teenager named Charlie Bartlett gets kicked out of a privileged private school. He then attends a public school that has a principal who’s having difficulties managing his family life and his work. Adjusting to the new environment is difficult but as time goes by, Charlie discovers that he has the psychiatry gift. Things go smooth from there on out for him but with great power comes great complications.
I can’t say enough about the acting. Anton Yelchin is the tomorrow’s big star. They couldn’t have cast a better actor to play Charlie Bartlett. Anton who’s only going to be 19 this year has what it takes to be in the same ring as Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. who’s just plain brilliant as the principal with emotional trauma and can’t seem to earn anybody’s respect anymore. We sympathize for his character.
This is Anton’s second work with actress Hope Davis, their first collaboration was in the movie Hearts in Atlantis starring legendary Anthony Hopkins.
Hope David in CHARLIE BARTLETT does a terrific job playing someone who’s trying so hard not to show her emotion or her depression but her denial has made her expect her son to be mature before his time.
I like how the movie resonates with how teenagers feel about themselves nowadays, the way the movie delivers it may seem over the top and silly at times but I think that’s just the filmmaker’s way of keeping the mood light and not too caught up in trying too hard to be realistic.
I doubt that CHARLIE BARTLETT is going to be this year’s Juno. But I have a feeling this movie is going to be cult hit like Donny Darko, Equilibrium, Napoleon Dynamite and other movies that are just so cool to collect on DVD.
I remember back in high school, it wasn’t much different. Those who managed to be popular were the ones to win the ‘natural selection’ or so we thought. Life in general can be like a popularity contest. But fame is overrated. It’s what we can we do with whatever popularity we have is what matters. We may only be famous within our family and friends but if we ignore them, then we’re losing the point of having a recognizable face to someone.
* Place the cursor on the picture below to check my grade for this film
Tags: Charlie Bartlett