Directed by Burr Steers
Run Time: 109 mins
Genre: Drama/ Romance/ Family/ Drama
3.5 frames out of 5
It’s all about the love… brotherly love.
Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron) is a young man that has his whole life in front of him and it’s a very bright future. He just graduated from high school, he has a pending scholarship to Stanford, he has a great relationship with his brother and he just won a boat race with his younger brother. Life is good, for the time being.
As he is on his way out to a farewell party for one of his buddies shipping off to boot camp, his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) intercedes and asks Charlie to drop him off at a friends house. Charlie moan and groans but does it anyway for his baby bro. Unfortunately while in route, they are rear ended by a drunk driver and then the passenger side is hit by a freight truck, killing Sam. Charlie is revived in the ambulance by paramedic Florio (Ray Liotta) and tells him that God has given Charlie a second chance at life. Little does Charlie know that his brush with death has given him more than he bargained for.
Charlie is devastated. While at the funeral he leaves abruptly, leaving his mother Claire (Kim Basinger) alone. Charlie runs into the woods where he sees his brother. He now sees dead people and can interact with them on the physical plane. Charlie vows to keep a promise that he had made to him before he died. He will show up everyday at 4pm to practice his pitching for baseball.
Five years later, Charlie has made good on his promise. He is now the groundskeeper at the cemetery where is brother is buried. He gave up everything to stick around town and make good on his promise to Sam. The only friends that he has are Sam and fellow groundskeeper, Alistair (Augustus Prew). Everyone else in town thinks Charlie is off his rocker. What a shame to have wasted his life.. he had so much potential. Needless to say, life brought him (or re-introduced him) to a girl that he knew in his previous life; before the accident. Fellow classmate/ sailor Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew) is training to set sail to Cape Town in a week. Charlie is smitten over her and tries to make small talk to hit on her. Tess laughs it off and they go their separate ways.
As fate would have it, Charlie runs into Florio on the street one day and they sit down to catch up over coffee. Florio tries to convince Charlie that his life was spared for a reason that he was here to do something special. Charlie blows this off, still punishing himself for Sam’s death.
When Charlie finds refuge in the arms of Tess, life suddenly seems bright again. The closer that he gets to Tess, the further away Sam goes. Charlie must make a choice – either he stays in the past to play with the dead or take a chance of love and life and dive right in.
Based on the fictional novel “The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud” by Ben Sherwood, the film version does a pretty good job of drawing in the viewer and giving it that emotional heave-ho. Although the movie seems like a mash-up of The Sixth Sense, What Dreams May Come and Heaven Can Wait, Zac Efron does a pretty decent turn into drama with his role as Charlie. Efron is captivating on screen which I’m not sure if it is because he is that good looking or he’s fun to watch… I think it’s more of his good looks more than anything. Regardless, it is a good film for viewing on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The scenery is beautiful; the relationship between the brothers is amusing and heartwarming and there is a pretty decent twist halfway through the film. The premise sounds rather campy for a supernatural love story/ drama but it’s made up for with great scenery and eye candy.
Things to watch for: Zac Efron’s abs & blue eyes, , the amazing scenery and the rain in the forest scene between the brothers – looks like a lot of fun to have shot.
Who should see this movie: Fans of Zac Efron; Fans of Romatic Dramas
See it in the Theater or Rent it on DVD: For the ladies, it’s worth seeing a shirtless Zac on the big screen; if not save this for a rainy day rental.