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Charlie Bartlett Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) masters the system in this comedy about an awkward kid who makes his popularity soar. Kicked out of prep school for manufacturing fake I.D.'s, Charlie moves back home to his mother's (Hope Davis) and enrolls in the local public school. Bullied and belittled from the moment he steps onto his first school bus, Charlie soon resorts to his old ways to gain the admiration of his classmates. Living in our pharmaceutical age, he quickly finds that a tidy profit can be made, first by counseling his peers-as the school "therapist"- and then by selling them the drugs his psychiatrists give him. He also meets Susan (Kat Dennings), classmate and daughter of the school's world-weary principal (Robert Downey Jr.), who amazes Charlie with her self-assuredness and confidence. Surrounded by his dysfunctional family, Charlie begins to understand that while he is trying to help the others, he'd better begin to help himself. Jon Poll makes the leap from editor of such comedy blockbusters as Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me and Meet the Parents to assured director, crafting this film with an expert eye. Davis shines as Charlie's rich, eccentric mother, while wonderful performances by Yelchin and the rest of the cast bring this teen-angst comedy to life. A Sydney Kimmel Entertainment/MGM Release.
Director's Statement Collapse
Charlie Bartlett is an offbeat love letter to teenagers… to my daughter who just became one… and to all of us who survived those tumultuous and exciting years.
As a teenager I was first exposed to drugs, listened to rock and roll, lost my virginity, fell in love, almost set my dorm on fire and ran across the country with the girl I would eventually marry (not necessarily in that order). So when, after working in Hollywood for twenty years, I got a shot to direct my first film… I leapt at Gustin Nash's witty, dark and hopeful script.
Charlie is an original. He is so devoid of cynicism that even when he plays shrink and prescribes drugs to his classmates he pulls it off guilelessly. I wanted to explore what it means to make mistakes and be better off for having made them.
Adolescence is a right of passage filled with glorious experiments and lapses in judgment that make us who we are. I have a lot of respect for teens. I didn't want to talk down to them or make them adult before their time.
If I only get a chance to direct one movie, I am proud that it is this sweet, optimistic film with a little sex, prescription drugs and a dose of rock and roll.
Film Information Collapse
[CHARL] | 2007 | 97 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Charlie Bartlett)
About the Director(s)Collapse
Charlie Bartlett marks the directorial debut of JON POLL, an accomplished editor who has collaborated with Jay Roach on the Meet the Parents and the Austin Powers series, among others; it is the screen debut of writer Gustin Nash.