Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"Being Charlie" (Paladin)
Most movies about drug addiction are sordid, squalid tales from the streets of the big cities. That is certainly not the case with "Being Charlie". Here we have a story about super upscale people who live in clean surroundings and for whom money is not a problem. The main character is an eighteen year old named Charlie, a character based on Nick Reiner who is the son of actor/director Rob Reiner. Nick co-wrote the script and his father directed the film.
At the start of the film Charlie (Nick Robinson) walks out of a rehab facility. When he gets to his parents house he is told by his father David (Cary Elwes) that he is either going to an adult rehab facility or to jail on an outstanding warrant. He opts to try the adult facility, knowing that his heart and his mind are not into being cured.
Charlie is at odds with his parents. He feels pushed aside by his father's political ambitions and isolated from his mother because of his father's controlling ways. He also comes off as spoiled and egocentric. His best friend Adam (Devon Bostwick) tries to be there for him at every turn, but Charlie is always asking more than he gives.
In the script Nick Reiner co-wrote with Matt Elisofon both Charlie and his father are not shown to be admirable people. Elwes' David is pre-occupied with his political career and also convinced "tough love" is the solution to Charlie's problems. On the other hand Charlie never tries to break through to his parents but remains aloof and non-communicative.
Still the movie is engrossing and entertaining mainly because of Robinson's performance. He provides his character with a core of likeability that shines through even when Charlie is being his most obnoxious. He has a wholesome look to him and actually looks like an eighteen year old rather than a twenty-five year old trying to look eighteen, which is what we usually get.
The film is rated R for profanity, nudity and violence.
"Being Charlie" is not a great movie but it is a good one. It lacks the depth a movie about this subject should have, but it compensates by being honest in its approach. "Being Charlie" is a tale of drug use among the upper class. Charlie's family can certainly afford the pricey rehab facilities which Charlie scorns one after the other, but in the real world money can not solve some of life's toughest problems.
Nick Reiner lays it all out there for the world to see in his screenplay, while Rob Reiner brings the story to life on the screen warts and all
I scored "Being Charlie" an existing 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper