Charlie St Cloud: Movie Review
Charlie St Cloud
Cast: Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Kim Basinger,
Director: Burr Steers
Having done so well in Me and Orson Welles, Zac Efron tries ever harder to
leave the High School Musical genre behind in this romantic weepy.
He's Charlie St Cloud, who lives in a small American coastal town - a guy
with everything going for him; a chance to get a sailing scholarship at
Stanford, and a brother Sam (Tahan) who idolizes him but fears he's leaving much
like their absent father did to his mum (Kim Basinger).
On the night of graduation, Charlie's saddled with baby sitting Sam rather
than joining his mates for one last blast - and so deciding to head out with
them, he grabs Sam and they take the car out.
But an accident sees Charlie's life changed forever when a driver kills Sam -
suddenly five years has gone and Charlie's still in the same town, tending the
graveyard and every night keeping a promise to practise baseball with his dead
Unable to move on, Charlie finds his life changed again when Tess (Crew) a
fellow high school graduate heads back to town on the eve of a solo round the
world sailing trip.
Can Charlie learn to love - and live again?
Charlie St Cloud shows once again that Zac Efron can actually act - sure he's
saddled with horrendous good looks, but he really does hold his own in this
flick - and the anguish he conveys when his brother's killed is gut wrenching to
say the least.
The whole film is a revelation in many ways - it's an unconventional romantic
drama which doesn't do exactly what you'd expect.
Both Tahan and Efron's on screen time is well done and there's an ease
between the pair which keeps the whole "I'm playing baseball with my dead
brother because I'm a bit damaged" schtick out of the completely weird and kooky
and just the right side of charming. Zac impresses throughout - and is clearly
the best graduate of the High School musical phenom.
But it's just a shame that the film loses it completely in the final reel as
it inevitably moves into the purely cheesy and schmaltz - anything that solicits
a major groan from most in the audience is never a good sign. Sure you could
probably see it coming, but given the film's confounded your expectations early
on, it's just a shame they bottled it at the end.