Although cheerful, friendly, intelligent, well-dressed, authentic and wealthy, Charlie Bartlett has problems. With his father gone and his mother loopy and clueless, he's been expelled from every private school for his victimless crimes. Now he's in a public school getting punched out daily by the school thug. He ever longs to be popular - the go-to guy - and the true crux of his troubles is that he invariably finds the means to this end, whatever that might be. At Western Summit High, he makes peace with his tormentor by going into business with him - listening to kids' problems and selling them prescription drugs. Charlie's a hit, but attraction to Susan (daughter of the school's laissez-faire principal), new security cameras on campus, a student's overdose, and Charlie's open world view all converge to get him in serious trouble. Can this self-made physician possibly heal himself and just be a kid? Written by
If no studio wants to invest in your film, it's because they know that unless all the stars align with your project, they're not going to make money. Well, the filmmakers here -- from the producers to the PA's -- obviously labored enough to force those stars into line, and make a terrific film that is bound to bring box office returns.
As a filmmaker watching this film, what confused me at first was how, as the story begins, there seems to be no structure, but it still made me hang on every word. Like any good film, that structure remained invisible throughout the whole film; it was only in retrospect that I could see how well this journey was laid out for us to effortlessly enjoy ourselves with realistic comedy, absurdist comedy, genuine romance, genuine father/daughter struggles and a variety of questions we should be all be asking ourselves. No filmmaker-knows-all solutions here.
This has an R rating, because the MPAA is afraid that kids can't handle talk about teenage Ritalin use. Either we all embrace the neo-comic book code era http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6543/, or we have to convince the industry to ditch this mindless censorship club that attempts to protect our children from the new perspectives that they need more than ever.
Tell them what you think at www.mpaa.org/AboutUsContactUs.asp
81 of 128 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?