WEIRDLAND: Charlie Bartlett

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Charlie Bartlett

"If you're a teen movie buff, you'll notice references — some subtle, some not-so —to Harold and Maude, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Rushmore. What's new about this movie is that it falls somewhere between noir teen flicks like Donnie Darko and more feel-good films like Ferris Bueller. It also feels very genuine, maybe because when I interviewed Kat and Anton (separately), they both mentioned Poll's request for their input for the movie (Anton to his character's backstory, Kat to her character's penchant for rock candy and choice of nail polish)". Source:

-How did you get involved with Charlie Bartlett and what drew you to the project?

-Jon Poll: I read about 100 scripts trying to find something that seemed like it was worth all the work. I was looking for something that had a lot of humor, heart and something on its mind. There aren’t many out there. I found two scripts out there last year that did that: Charlie Bartlett and Juno. Ironically I read another script by Gustin called Youth in Revolt, which hopefully will be made later this year". Source:

"Bringing teenagers and psychiatric drugs together is like opening a lemonade stand in the desert," he declares. Soon, he's the most popular boy in the school and has a new girlfriend (Kat Dennings) who just happens to be the drunken principal's (Robert Downey Jnr) only daughter.

An increasing number of American (and to a lesser extent) British teens are being prescribed drugs for disorders that didn't exist a generation ago and Charlie Bartlett clearly has something to say about the stresses and pressures of modern life.

But, at heart, it's the same old teen story about screwed-up kids who are trying to find a place in the world and need to be accepted for what they are.Downey Jr is a master at injecting an extra edge into the mundane (take a look at Iron Man) but is here underused and rather wasted.

Director Jon Poll's treatment is also oddly straightforward for a story that maybe demanded a Donnie Darko-style oddness to truly lift it". Source:


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