Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Movie Review: Charlie St. Cloud
I was in a rather cheery mood when I noticed the armies of teenage girls lining up to see Charlie St. Cloud. “This will be a perfect place to meet women,” I thought to myself. But then I realized I was there and I had a job to do, so I turned my attention to the movie screen. That was a bad idea.
Let’s start off with the story. Charlie St. Cloud is a golden boy played by Zac Efron who is very good at one thing; sailing. He also has a very close relationship with his brother Sam. One night, they are in a car wreck and young Sam kicks the bucket. Charlie is very sad about this, so he runs away and pouts in the woods. Between his sobbing, he stumbles upon the spirit of his younger brother Sam. He then remembers his promise he made to the young boy that he would play baseball with him for one hour every day until he leaves for college. So he does this…for five years. Then, our main character meets the female known as “Tess” played by Amanda Crew. From there conflicts arise, and things happen. But I don’t want to go into that. It really isn’t worth any of our time
I really don’t blame Efron for the failure of this film. At the end of the day, he really isn’t that bad of an actor. He has gone a long way since his High School Musical days, and I commend him for that. Honestly I am not really sure who to blame. The film just doesn’t work. The core issues lie with the dialogue and the pacing. Like I said earlier Efron (or really anyone in the film for that matter) is not a terrible actor. He just isn’t given much to work with here. As far as the pacing goes, the film just feels clunky and out of place. You have a car crash, and then minutes later he stumbles across the ghost of his dead brother. Just like that. No explanations, no character development. We are just rushed into this story and expected to go along with all of what’s happening. This same thing happens with the films “plot twist”, if you will call it that. The reason for me saying this is because (just like before) they just kind of throw it on you. There is no tension, and hardly any foreshadowing to what actually ends up happening. It is almost like the film makers just decided what would happen last minute. A lot of the film makes it seem that way. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many scenes in this film that are touching: like some of the scenes with Charlie and his brother and Charlie with Tess. There are also some funny side characters. Unfortunately the good weighs out the bad in this situation. Although there is some good.
Let’s go some more into the acting. Efron and Amanda Crew have some great on-screen chemistry. Like I mentioned earlier, they don’t have a lot to work with but they do indeed work with it. They are one of the few couples in movies that you actually like to see on screen together. Much more could have been done on the part of Charlie Tahan, Charlie’s little brother. But again, I do not blame anyone here. 9/10 child actors cannot act, and the remaining one usually grows up.
I see what they were trying to do with Charlie St. Cloud. I have seen this type of movie before, only it worked. There was a lot of room for improvement here, especially since they had people that could act. I was not writing this review with resentment, but with understanding. But, if you want a cheesy romance that involves a shirtless Zac Efron then this one is for you. I don’t want to be as merciless as to give it a 1/5, because some people might enjoy it. A little bit.
But, at the end of the day, it truly deserves a 1/5 rating.