by Tony Medley
(Anton Yelchin) is a troubled teenager. At least thatís what we are led
to believe as he is dismissed from private school after private school.
Itís difficult to understand because Charlie seems like a nice chap.
enabling mother, Marilyn (Hope Davis) puts him in public school.
Charlieís Dad isnít there as heís spending his time in the federal pen
for tax evasion.
teenage movie formula, Charlie immediately gets beat up by the school
bully, Murphey Bivens (Tyler Hilton). Charlie is undaunted but his
mother sends him to a psychiatrist who suggests he take Ritalin. This
puts Charlie in a high but he realizes that there are others who could
use it better than he so he basically sets up a counseling practice in
the boysí john, dispensing sage advice and handing out the prescription
drugs he gets from his psychiatrist, who prescribes drugs to Charlie
like they were aspirin.
Oh, this is an
amiable, feel-good movie as it crosses every ďtĒ and dots every ďiĒ in
the formula itís following. What I deplored about it is the wink and the
nod it makes to teenage sex. He likes the principalís daughter, Kat
Dennings (Susan Gardner) and she initiates a sexual escapade with him,
after which he parades in front of the student body proclaiming to all
that he had just lost his virginity. Hollywood still hasnít gotten the
message that there is no such thing as sex without consequences and
films like this are irresponsible when they treat teenage, out of
wedlock, sex as the same as a goodnight kiss. This film just
reemphasizes that as far as Hollywood is concerned, there is sex, and
there is responsibility, and never the twain shall meet.
Yelchin gives a
good performance, although not much is asked of him. The best
performance is given by Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Katís father,
directed by Jon Poll and written by Gustin Nash, other than the
reprehensible glorification of teenage sexual promiscuity, this is a
meaningless, forgettable film that can fill one hour 38 minutes of your
time relatively enjoyably if you arenít interested in learning anything
or challenging your mind over anything more complex than how much is 2 +