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REVIEW: The Truth About Charlie, for IMDB, July 13, 2004
As "rosscinema" says in a previous post, "Why did they bother?" Well, they bothered for the same reason virtually all Hollywood films are made: to make **MONEY**, lots of MONEY! No one in their right mind would attempt to duplicate two so magic stars as Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn from the original "Charade", but some studio type thought they could cost in on the deserved reputation of the original for excellence, and make a bundle before the critics and the public got to see what a stinker this would-be remake is. Mark Wahlberg may have a certain presence, but a Cary Grant his is NOT and never will be; and that woman taking Hepburn's part was simply pathetic, what with her little moues of pseudo-British mouthings. Audrey, who was the quintessence of delicate dignity and charm, would spin in her grave, if she could. And with the change of dating to reflect, not the Second World War, but post-Vietnam, the entire tenor of the original was changed from a charming 'escapade-avec-larceny', to a mad chase with the modern dictum of 'diversity' with a cast more suited to a tract on multiculturalism, than anything having to do with telling a coherent story! The 'stamps' were well explained in the original, but here they are a throwaway plot device that more confuses than illuminates. And 'la belle Paris', mon Dieu, how it is ignored and abused in this tawdry effort; what was charming even in the face of murder and crime in the original, is merely seedy here. There is no magic between the stars as in "Charade", just some groping. And where was the duplicate of the crafty Walter Matthau character? Tim Robbins is a good actor, but here he is no replacement for the Mr. Dyle. And that dismal woman who is the police inspector is merely awful in this tiresome flick. If you have never seen "Charade" you must not let this failure make you think the original is as bad, for you would be denying yourself one of the finest delights of the modern screen, and the sight of two of its greatest luminaries, Grant and Hepburn, in very good form!
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