Being Charlie is a movie about an 18-year-old addict, cloistered away in a rehab center, to be hidden away from the public while his father runs for governor. So yeah, it’s a real laugh riot.
To be honest, while the premise makes it sound a bit sappy and sentimental, the movie isn’t quite that. Charlie isn’t exactly likeable as a character. He’s arrogant, rude and unpleasant to be around. His father isn’t any better, so when it comes to the war between the two, it’s more like you’re picking the lesser of two evils when you side with Charlie.
The dynamic feels real. We meet Charlie, think he’s a douche, and say “screw this entitled rich kid.” Then we meet the father and it’s like “ok, that’s why the kid’s so screwed up.”
One of the more endearing characters is a girl that Charlie meets in rehab. Eva (Morgan Saylor), with whom Charlie flouts rules that discourage romantic relationships among patients. Although Saylor brings some personality to her turbulent, unfocused character, you have the queasy sense that somebody decided the movie needed a pretty woman to give it some juice, because she becomes a side character as the movie takes a vicious turn.
This isn’t inspirational. It’s probably a bit less harsh than Rachel Getting Married, but not by much. It’s one of those hard to watch rehab movies because it feels far more true to life than most stories.
That being said, the movie has a bit of a problem with clichés. The characters feel a bit wooden, and it’s said that this movie is a very thinly veiled autobiography. Sometimes, when a movie is based on real life, I feel like they’re written out of revenge, kind of like Mommy Dearest. This is what that feels like. While the writer clearly didn’t pull any punches, even with his own character, he still comes across as a bit bitter in the end.
It’s a dark film for most of it, then for some reason takes a weird upbeat turn at the end. I feel like they felt required to give Charlie a happy ending, when Charlie didn’t deserve one. The problem with the ending is that it takes a tragedy to get Charlie to see the light. They’re playing this character pretty true to life, in that there’s no growth at all, so the sudden epiphany at the end feels false.
It’s a strange movie, because the writer clearly doesn’t care if the audience likes the characters, but then feels afraid to commit to the dark ending, instead giving the audience what he thinks they want. That was a disappointment.
Also, for a movie like this, the run time is way too long. It’s a tense film, but the character is too shallow for you to want to watch his introspection, when he never seems to learn anything. In short, it’s about an hour and forty minutes of dealing with an addict. Despite it’s flaws, I will say it’s worth the watch.
WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS! Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below