A young woman in Paris is about to divorce her husband when she discovers... he's dead; and all their money is gone. She meets a mysterious man, who tells her that the money was really his, and he wants it back, seemingly convinced that she's hiding the cash. Meanwhile, more people end up dead...Written by
The part of Joshua Peters was originally intended for Will Smith, but due to the extended production on Ali (2001), he was unable to make the start of filming on Charlie, so Demme had to move forward with Mark Wahlberg instead, losing the Thandie Newton and Will Smith "double-act" he had imagined watching the original movie Charade (1963). See more »
Using a mint stamp by applying an inappropriate postmark, or even simply spoiling the adhesive by attaching it to a piece of paper, can reduce the value considerably, maybe even making the item totally worthless. See more »
Just as the reference for Francois Truffaut's "Tirez sur le Pianiste" is shown, a shot of Truffaut's grave is inserted. See more »
The DVD release in includes several deleted scenes totaling to about eleven minutes. Among them are more of the visit with the Commandant, Regina mistaking a flirtatious man for Joshua, the opening of the mysterious package, and a flashback when Il-Sang, Emil, and Lola are in the army and Emil is playing bluegrass on his guitar. See more »
All over the map -- it doesn't know what it wants to be
At a recent Q & A session, director Jonathan Demme said he had a difficult time finding the right tone the film. Having seen the picture, I can tell you -- he still hasn't found it.
The movie, a remake of the 1963 Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn classic Charade, may take place mostly in Paris, but it's really all over the map. It doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it a comedy? Is it a romance? Is it a thriller? For a time it tries to be all of the above -- and fails at each one.
Demme, speaking to an audience in Philadelphia following an advance screening, said the movie could have gone in vastly different directions in the editing room. For example, another version could have been much funnier. I don't doubt it. There are some good elements in place.
Mark Wahlberg, stepping into the Cary Grant role, is surprisingly debonair. This role officially puts him light-years away from his early '90s white-rapper persona. Don't get me wrong, he's still no Cary Grant -- but watching him in this film, you can easily see him as an American James Bond.
Following in Audrey Hepburn's heels is the to-die-for Thandie Newton. Combining beauty, sophistication, elegance and vulnerability, Newton more than succeeds in bringing a Hepburn-like quality to her character. She also gets boatloads more screen time than Wahlberg, which isn't a bad thing considering she's the best thing in the movie.
If only the story didn't fall apart in the second act, as all tension and suspense evaporates. Things come back together in the third act, but it's too late.
The movie also exceeds its quota of cliches. For instance, how many times have you seen foreigners in movies begin conversations in another language -- only to switch into perfect English after a couple of sentences? Well, in this movie, get ready to see it again... and again.
Then there's the car accident scene -- we hear squealing brakes and crunching metal off-screen, then Demme actually gives us a shot of a hub cap rolling across the street! The movie gives us no indication these bits are meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
There is one terrific foot chase that Demme admits is inspired by Run Lola Run. The scene has energy, suspense, humor and fun -- all things the rest of the movie tries, but fails to achieve.
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