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Charlie Bartlett: A Not New Movie Review

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I’ve gotta think of a rating system for my Not New Movie Reviews, but since I am seeing these movies and I am writing about them I clearly like them, so that’s my rating system.   I really don’t enjoy writing all the reasons something sucks (it’s a bumme, really), so I won’t waste my time here because I don’t have to.  If it’s here, it’s good.  C’est tout.

So Charlie Bartlett. O.M.G.  It’s a dream of a delicious little movie that not many people saw but they should.    It stars Robert Downey Jr. Hope Davis, Kat Dennings and Anton Yelchin.  Steller.

First off, Anton Yelchin is so super talented I can’t believe he didnt get nominated for like every award.  (He was the super funny Russian in Star Trek.)  Funny, vulnerable, singing and playing the piano, the kid is not only adorable but a serious acting talent.  I must disclose that I have a soft spot for the dorky high school kid (Pauly Bleeker aka Michael Cera is a dream), but this part and actor won me over.  Anton was great in Huff, where I first thought he was a talent, but in Charlie Bartlett he shows his range.

Charlie Bartlett tells a charming story of a clever, wealthy, high schooler who finds himself in public school after getting kicked out of a bunch of private schools.  He has to find his way in this new system. and in doing so deals with his past and himself.  He becomes the therapist to all the students, doling out medication after sessions.  It’s like every teen flick rolled into one, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Wierd Science, Pump up the Volume, Say Anything, and then adds its own modern story.  Great stuff.

Charlie is the loner in us all, but his zest for life and engagement in it brings rewards that remind us it’s better to dive in and get messy.  (Given it has to have some nice message for me to like it, though it’s not some annoyingly after-school special one.)  A great soundtrack adds to the movie watching experience.

There is love, teen angst and the reminder that we all want to connect and be heard, even if we are all a little inept at it.

Check it out, you won’t be sorry.