Charlie St. Cloud
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron) is a high-school sailing champ, set to leave his single mom (Kim Basinger), and adoring kid brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) to take up a sailing scholarship at Stanford. When his brother is killed in a car accident, Charlieís life goes into tailspin, especially once he discovers that he now has the ability to communicate with his dead brother. Cut to five years later- Charlie has given up on his dreams in order to stay close to his dead brotherís spirit, and is now working as a groundskeeper at the local cemetery. Eventually, he begins to fall for a local girl (Amanda Crew), but their burgeoning relationship threatens to drive a wedge between him and the dead brother he canít let go.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In many ways, CHARLIE ST. CLOUD is exactly the same kind of film as REMEMBER ME. Both are efforts from pretty boy, teen leading men to show their range beyond the lightweight fare that made them popular. Both suffer from the same overall problem, in that theyíre so damn earnest. While CHARLIE ST. CLOUDís ending isnít as much of a groaner as REMEMBER ME, itís still a shockingly lightweight piece of fluff, that probably about as wrongheaded a choice Zac Efron can make if he wants to be taken seriously.
Itís pretty vanilla, and obviously made to appeal to Efronís young fans. However, the big problem CHARLIE ST. CLOUD doesnít acknowledge is that Efronís core audience is getting a bit older, and he probably would be better served by edgier fare. I actually donít think heís a bad actor, especially after his performance in ME & ORSON WELLS. Heck, I even kind of enjoyed 17 AGAIN, but this is a big step backwards. All Efron does is flash his big blue eyes while gazing mournfully off into the sunset, or engage in a hilariously tame romance that would probably even make Nicholas Sparks gag.
The most disappointing thing about CHARLIE ST. CLOUD is that itís directed by Burr Steers, who once upon a time made a great film, IGBY GOES DOWN, but alas, that Burr Steers seems to be no more.
Overall a pretty standard bunch of extras. Up first is a commentary track by director Burr Steers, followed by some deleted scenes . Up next are two featurettes praising Efron's abilities as a leading man, and a quick featurette called The In-Between World which is about, you guessed it- communicating with the dead (ooooooh).
I really canít imagine CHARLIE ST. CLOUD being a much interest to anyone other than massive Zac Efron fans. If all you want is ninety minutes of Zac, well- this is the film for you. Otherwise, avoid it.