A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.
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This was a funny little movie, but I wouldn't say it had a lot going for it. The story line was decent, but not as strong as you would want to to be. But that makes for a nice Sunday afternoon movie where you don't have to think a lot. It does have some light comedy and tries to show a life lesson, but only succeeds about sixty percent. I did enjoy the dialog, but mostly from the main character played by Anton Yelchin. He was a joy to watch. He had some pretty great acting skills. The rest of the cast was ok to not so good. Robert Downey Jr. was a big name in this film, but didn't seem to fit his part too well. The love interest of the main character is played by Kat Dennings who at sometimes seemed pretty good and others, a bit off. There is one character that bugged me and it was played by Tyler Hilton. He really didn't have the acting skills or the look for his character. Then you have Hope Davis who didn't seem to fit very well. The whole outcome of the film was funny to watch, but if you cut it up, you start to see a lot of things wrong.
Save yourself the hassle and pain and don't watch this movie, instead watch Donnie Darko or Chumscrubber if you want to get inside the head of a disturbed teenager nixed with the dangers of how society has become complacent with handing out meds to teens to solve the "rebel problem". This movie was terrible. The acting was pretty decent but my major problem was the plot, Which I thought was overdone and poorly done at that. What could have been a decent movie was squashed by a mediocre story that reminded me of Ferris Buller's day off and Chumscrubber's love child.
Naming a film after the main character usually means one of two things: 1) They didn't have any better ideas, which should alert viewers to the potential for further creative bankruptcy; 2) They wanted to reward the screenwriter for thinking up a snappy moniker. The trailers for Charlie Bartlett made it seem like a case of 2. But Charlie Bartlett is actually a deceptively straightforward teen movie. Anton Yelchin ministering to his classmates through amateur psychiatry in the boys' bathroom Yelchin's warm acting style exudes the enthusiasm and vocal mannerisms of a child. Equally as annoying is Kat Dennings as his love interest, a sassy spitfire similar in temperament to her role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The older characters don't fare quite so well -- Hope Davis' Mrs. Bartlett is so underwritten, all she can do is contribute aimless loopiness, and Robert Downey Jr., the should-be-cool principal, ends up displaying personality issues far more alarming than those of his students. While the premise is pretty thin -- how could Charlie dispense advice to a whole queue of prospective "patients" without attracting attention? -- the movie's heart is in the right place, wiping out some of its flaws.