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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, the main characters are superbly played. Anton Yelchin is immensely adorable, and has quite the emotional range (not to mention his facial expressions range...). I hope he gets to play more roles like this one, because the boy sure has a lot of talent - both for comedy and drama. Robert Downey Jr. is a class unto himself and needs no superlatives. Suffice to say he does what he does best - portraying a character with problems, a little bit unsure of himself, a little bit wrong about stuff and possessing a lot of inner strength. The other members of the cast are forgettable, but never disappoint.
The atmosphere of the movie is fantastic. "Charlie Bartlett" is a very dynamic, very "rhythmic" piece. In this (and other things, mainly in the music and plot departments) it resembles the show "Weeds", even though its themes are more in line with UK's drama "Skins".
What really touches you though, are the characters. They are all just a little bit more real than what we're used to in movies like this one, but as I said in the beginning - that's quite enough. Charlie is both really strong and quite vulnerable, and Yelchin does a superb job in portraying this. He has admirable qualities, and he has obvious flaws - he can switch between likable and dislikable in the matter of seconds. Downey Jr.'s Principle Gardner is an alcoholic who has self-esteem issues and trouble connecting with his otherwise loving daughter Susan. The way he sees Charlie as almost a villain - a rival!Read more ›
As a coming of age story, Charlie Bartlett deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Graduate or The Catcher In The Rye. It's hilarious, touching, and smart, full of deliciously subverted clichés and gorgeously wrought characters. It tells that same age-old story (a young man struggles to find his identity, and thus becomes an emblem for his entire generation) with unparalleled skill, unfeigned sympathy, and bottomless humor. The movie's titular character really is a fantastic creation: He's a bundle of contradictions and ironies, a balance of endearing naiveté and knowing, sardonic sarcasm, all of which conceals a deep sensitivity and sense of longing.
Oh, and did I mention that this is a first-rate comedy? As touching and insightful as it is, Charlie Bartlett is a also a gut-bustingly funny, endlessly entertaining movie, full of iconic scenes, memorable dialogue, sharp satire, and sheer hysterics. The jokes come fast and easy, the characters are full of quirks, the story is wonderfully paced and relentlessly engrossing, and the climax is as gripping and heartrending as you could possibly ask. Even the film's occasional missteps- a few of the ideas seem underdeveloped or awkwardly handled- aren't particularly troublesome. In fact, they add to the loose, freewheeling atmosphere that pervades the whole thing. See it!
As someone in their late 50's, who was an Air Force "brat" that seemed to move every two years or so, and whose father "retired" from the service when I was in my teens, I found this to be a credible movie. In my instance, we moved to rural Alabama after having lived in Germany, South Carolina, Taiwan, and Michigan. In addition to the "foreign" accent that I had that was slightly northern, I, also, was one of those short, smart aleck PIA's.
In Charlie's case, after being kicked-out of every private school there is, he is faced with the inevitable situation of having to attend public school, where he has confrontations with the school bully, played exceptionally well by Tyler Hilton, tries to get serious with an attractive girl student, who he doesn't realize is the principal's daughter, and butts heads with the principal, played in an understated way by Robert Downey Jr. Toss-in a mother who is half-flaky, a situation with his father we never quite understand (Hey what's a little tax evasion among the rich) and you have Charlie's situation.
Along the way, Charlie, played by Anton Yelchin, finds, through "chemistry," a way to interrelate to the other students by becoming a pseudo drug-dealer/counselor, with the counselor concept becoming a way that he fulfills himself.
In Charlie's case, he is successful, and to this end, he constantly strives to help others as a means of finding something worthwhile about himself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am not a big fan of coming-of-age films or high school comedies, but I did see this film some years ago, and I really enjoyed it. The casting is great. Read morePublished 6 days ago by D. Wolf
Here's a 2007 teen dramedy with an interesting '90s coming-of-age-flick sensibility, and the heart of those sweet '80s films from John Hughes. Read morePublished 12 days ago by harmonista222
Great coming of age high school movie with an eccentric Charlie who is seeking greatness helping others in order to ignore his own problems, something that was very easy for me to... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
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