There is no originality in the world. Not a single dose of newness left. We are constantly led to believe that everything is like something else. Brown is the new black, Cameron is the new Blair, Wisap is the new Wispa and Ashton Kutcher is the new Satan. If you're aware of Charlie Bartletts existence (as I write this our print has already sailed long ago) you'll know one thing. Charlie Bartlett is the new Ferris Bueller. Well he's not. He's just a kid trying to make the most of his time in, what is the most painful part of anyones life, high school. Comparing it to one of the only reasons the 80's shouldn't be permanently deleted from everyones memories is unfair for a film thats is quite new, quite funny and fo rthe most part quite enjoyable .
Charlie Bartlett comes from a long line of fast talking, quick thinking, movie Chucks (Charlie Wilson, Charlies Angels, Charlie Chaplin, A Charlie Brown Christmas) and this one is no exception. Kicked out from every private school going Charlie has to learn to deal with a 'normal' run of the mill school. Charlies main goal isn't to survive this experience but to get the one thing that he dreams of. Popularity. He does this by dealing out prescription meds, conselling advice and boffing the headmasters daughter. Well done Charlie.
Your appreciatiation of any high school comedy with such a perky protagonist will no doubt hinge on the performance of the lead and newcomer Anton Yelchin manages to be both infuriating and likeable. Instantly annoying but willing to win you round by being the kind of guy you secretly wish you could have been when you had so much young poon around you. The poon in question is Kat Dennings who I'm starting to get a little crush on. A unique looking gal with a touch of the gothic. Not usually my peppermint, but, well, there it is. Although if Robert Downey Jr was her dad I might just date her to get to him such is my adoration of the man of iron. This is fast becoming a 'who Owen wants to do' review so I'm going to stop.
And return instead to the UnFerrisness of the movie. The biggest thing is the tone is way too dissimilar. Bueller was a romp (I can't beleive I used that word) from start to finish with only one brief respite for Camerons breakdown. Bartlett is littered with real life anxieties. Prison, Suicide, Grief, none of these things seemed to trouble little Broderick as he surfed carival floats singing Twist and Shout. But because all film critics want to get on the movie poster with some easy one-liner they'll plaster their reviews saying it is the new Ferris Bueller. But its not.
Its actually much more like the new Rushmore. Dammit.