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Charlie Bartlett
Review written on: March 9th, 2008

Charlie Bartlett Review

The title character (portrayed by Anton Yelchin) is a bit of a juvenile delinquent, not in the conventional sense, though. Put into various boarding and preparatory schools in Connecticut by mother Marilyn (Hope Davis), Charlie doesn?t quite fit into the role expected of him.

While the headmasters believe he is quite bright, he?s got a bit of a knack for the illegal. For a scheme creating phony driver?s licenses (including that of our home state), Charlie has been kicked out of school again! Many mothers would be quite angry at having her ?problem child? tossed out of so many schools, but not her. She maintains her composure and seems much more disappointed, than mad. With that, it?s now off to public school.

Showing up to the local high school, Charlie obviously stands out in his prep school attire (complete with patched blazer and attach? case). What do the students usually do to the new kid? Targeted particularly by school misfit Murphey Bivens (Tyler Hilton), he tries his hardest to fit in.

While his fellow classmates are going through their own awkward stages, where no one understands them, and their self-esteem is developing, Charlie finds a niche. For him to be accepted and gain popularity, he becomes the school?s de-facto amateur psychiatrist. True to form, Charlie can?t stay completely on the straight and narrow. There?s a little prescription passing going on. In addition, Charlie does start to feel an attraction toward Susan Gardner (Kat Dennings), who happens to be the daughter of the principal (Robert Downey, Jr.). Bartlett has stirred up the school for the benefit of them all!

The whole notion of acceptance and finding yourself is the biggest part of any teenage coming-of-age film. While the performances were solid, I felt that the movie just lacked the spark that would make it stand out. Your best bet would be to hold off on this until its release on DVD. I wouldn?t shell out a lot of dough for it.

 

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