‘CHARLIE ST. CLOUD’ (2010). Zac Efron tries to come to terms with a tragic loss in this drama. All text is © Rissi JC


July 30, 2012 Rissi JC 5 Comments

Did you ever watch something that jumbles feelings at its close? No doubt we each have that one movie that we would describe in this way. My thoughts on this drama are exactly this sentiment.

Charlie St Cloud (2010) Film Review

Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron) is one of the most skilled sailors at his small-town sailing club. He dominates in nearly every race with the assistance of his pesky little brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan). Post high school, the only reason Charlie heads to a prestigious college is because of his skill on the waters. Graduation means parties and saying goodbye to friends. These plans are disrupted when Charlie must play babysitter to his brother. Rebelling, Charlie sneaks out, never realizing how this decision will forever change his life when a drunk driver slams into their car, killing Sam. Five years later, Charlie remains in the coastal town.  

Charlie’s routine consists of a job at the cemetery where they bury Sam but the fog never lifts. Every day at sunset the two brothers “meet” to play catch. Charlie gleans an interest in sailing again when news spreads a local sailor, Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew) plans to attempt sailing solo around the world. The closer he gets to Tess, the more Sam slips away.  

Anything remotely related to “supernatural” isn’t my idea of cinematic greatness, but something about this film was intriguing, likely this is in part because of its star. I did know the main part of the story (Charlie willing Sam still alive), what I didn’t realize is a love story follows suit. There’s moments that seem a bit ridiculous, or taken to the extreme when there’s no cause. There’s also optimism, too. Where things do stumble is the relationship between Tess and Charlie. It isn’t given the time it needs. From three conversations (two of which are “fake”), we are asked to believe that Charlie falls hard for Tess. Though not a bad story, some of the admirable qualities still needs polish. But the leading man does carry this really well; many of us will find that surprising, but he proves he can do a dramatic piece just as well as a teen heartthrob role, making me already look forward to future roles.  

‘CHARLIE ST. CLOUD’ (2010). Zac Efron plans a grieving man looking for forgiveness. #FWarchives #Movies Click To Tweet
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Going against my “standard” viewing, I enjoy not knowing where every plot thread leads, and instead get a surprise midway through. Thankfully the actual scenario is more pleasant than the imagined. Much of the story is confusing in that we aren’t ever certain just what is going on. Taking cues from its original title, ironically, Charlie finds his redemption, and we can breathe a sigh of relief that he’ll enjoy life, given a second chance. Depending on your faith, some may find this a “troubling” film but ultimately, it’s a unique story. There is definitely an expectation that everything is a dream rather than real. And, ironically imagination is something Charlie St Cloud is in no shortage of.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Charlie St Cloud digitally on Amazon Video.

Content: this film is PG13 for some playful flirting, removal of clothing, along with some kissing. One shot sees a couple lying in one another’s arms apparently naked [in a graveyard]. There is a fatal car wreck. Charlie “sees” those who have passed away in his life. Culminating in the final moments, a dramatic rescue attempt takes place. Profanity is rare but not exempt [sh*t, he*l, a**, and an “oh my god!”]. One guy gets drunk, and there’s a fistfight; there’s a few other crude sexual references. There is some inappropriate clothing.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Rosie July 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    When I watched this a few weeks ago I was very creeped out. lol Ghosts just aren't my thing.

  • Rissi July 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    I am not really into ghost stories either, Rosie but I did find this flick… interesting. As a matter of fact, I was just thinking I should watch it again because it was one of those movies that "deserves" a second look – it goes in so many different directions, it's hard to keep up. :-)

    As always, really glad you stopped by! Your comments are most welcome.

  • AnnaKate July 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I actually really want to see this movie– it looks like something I might not normally enjoy, but so many people have raved about it.

  • Rosie July 30, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Rissi- Okay, I'll leave the ghost stories to you then. ;p Great review, by the way!

  • Rissi July 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    AnnaKate – this one really surprised me. It was good in ways I didn't expect. If you liked The Lake House, you shouldn't mind this one though it has different twists.

    Enjoy if you see it – glad you are back. :-)

    Rosie – this isn't a typical "ghost story." As a matter of fact, we never even see one but it is a unique script. :-)

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