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
Charlie Bartlett was named after British experimental psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett. However, the overarching theme is the slightly odd name in the tradition of the film, of which this one is an homage, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). See more »
Charlie's hair has been roughly towel dried after a fall into Nathan's swimming pool. At 1:28:51, Charlie says "No, you're her father, and she loves you very much, and you're totally missing it." Between cuts in filming this spoken sentence, Charlie's towel-dried hair changes shape. See more »
Thank You. Thank you very much. Thank you. How you all doing tonight. It's great to see all of you here. My name is Charlie Bartlett.
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The song "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out" is listed twice in the credits, because it is performed twice by different characters. See more »
I began watching this thinking "I'm about 30 years too old to appreciate this" because it seemed to be pitched at a teenage audience, but after a while I was taken by the unfolding events and drawn in to the believable human story underneath it all. The great performances of Robert Downey Jr and Anton Yelchin convinced me that the Principal of a school and a troubled student could end up helping each other and overcome the predictable high school conventions. It was surprising and satisfying, and the outcomes for many of the characters were positive in a not-unbelievable way. I understand why some people would see the likeness to Rushmore, but for me that was a uniquely brilliant Wes Anderson creation that can't be touched by films with apparently similar plots. Charlie Bartlett is worth seeing for its own sake and it is a rewarding experience. Anyone who has been a teenager should appreciate it and fans of Robert Downey Jr will also get the bonus of his character opening up about a history of drug abuse that seems to come from the heart of this wonderful actor.
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