Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love Charlie Bartlett...Movie quotes and more.

Anton Yelchin is a teenage super hero. His acting borders genius, unless, he in fact is precisely like this character.

Move over Rushmore and Igby goes down....Meet Charlie Bartlett! This movie is absolute teenage redemption wih wry wit, genuine angst and misdiagnosis of the teenage human condition.

This movie soared into my heart and managed to identify with all the inner awkward any of us could possibly be in touch with. The bully, the precocious prep, the faking cool kid, the artsy theatre ingenue, the self-esteem lacking slut, and everything in between.

Somehow the delicate, yet candidly intimate navigation of single parenthood between Robert Downey Jr (the Principal) and his daughter and the charmingly frivolous, widowed millionairess filling her voids with wine, tennis and an unnatural (albeit extremely commonplace) boundary-bucking intimacy with her son, played true.

The writers hide nothing with the pill-popping abuse of prescription drugs. Ritalin, Prozac, Adderol, Zoloft, Klonopin, Xanax are just the "majors". Charlie Bartlett runs a pseudo-psychiatric clinic in the boys room, using the stall as a make-shift "confessional" type space.

This movie laughs at the haste to prescribe drugs instead of listen to the normalcy that these adolescents experience while coming of age in the most traumatizing circumstances possible....high school. It makes a poignant and alarming statement. I hope you get it. I did.

Quite perfectly, Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" plays during a scene where kids line up for the bathroom to be given their doses. Another sweetly pulled-off moment was when Marlyn, Charlie's mom chimes in a duet of (my favorite) Cat Steven's "If you want to sing out, sing out."

Even the b-story of falling in love on common grounds of childhood wounds and sad-stories is innocently mature and well acted.

Some great quotes:

"I am so excited for us to spend the weekend together...I was thinking we could go wine-tasting. We haven't done that since you were a kid." - Mother to Charlie

"I'm not saying I'm gay. But....what if I'm not attracted to girls at all?" - random boy in stall.

"Oh trust me Doc, bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the dessert."-Charlie Bartlett

"It kinda sucks to have one parent ditch, and have the other one lose their mind...I mean, how can I have a chance to turn out even remotely normal?" -Susan

"There are more important things than being popular." - Principal -Robert Downey Jr.
"Like what?!" - Charlie Bartlett"
"Like what you do with it." - Principal-Robert Downey Jr.

Is it a little over-indulgent in the wise-crackery and seeming self-awareness in teens? Sure. BUT SEE IT. It will make you actually think for a moment...High School was cool.

Being uncool, is cool. Go pass a note. Go be honest and vulnerable. Just be.

1 comment:

dadshouse said...

Nice review, I'll have to check this movie out. Robert Downey Jr. is great.