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Charly (2002)

Charly
A Mormon movie with an actress named Beers--I love that!

Starring:

Jeremy Elliot
Heather Beers

Released In:

2002

Rated:

PG

Reviewed By:

Adam Mast

Grade:

B-

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Going into Charly, I wasn't sure what to expect. This is a film with LDS themes, and while I am not Mormon, I am very familiar with the gospel. In fact, I happen to be married to a wonderful woman who is a member of the church. When I heard about the plot to this movie (based on the novel of the same name), I must admit, I was intrigued.

Charly is the name of one of this film's main characters, a fun loving New Yorker who's life drastically changes after taking a trip to good old Salt Lake City Ut. While there, she meets Sam, a straight as an arrow member of the church. Before long, the two find themselves drawn to each other despite very different backgrounds.

The obvious happens in the very first act of this film, and my first instinct was to walk out of the movie because I didn't buy it for a second. In fact, the first forty minutes or so of Charly really didn't ring true to me. It felt rushed and it was almost if chunks of the story seemed to be missing. Thankfully, I stuck around.

Charly does grow into something much deeper, even if it's final act is quite reminiscent of the 70's tearjerker Love Story. The fact is that the performances really ring true with such sincerity, that much of the climax was painful and uncomfortable to watch.

Jeremy Elliot is quite stiff as Sam but he does loosen up as the film progresses. Charly belongs to actress Heather Beers. I've never seen her before, but I'm sure she'll go places after studio heads see her in this. Even while the early goings-on in this picture leave a bit to be desired, Beers gives a lively, textured performance that lifts this character above the norm. Her final moments in this picture range from sincere to absolutely heartbreaking.

What I liked most about Charly was it's attempt at giving a balanced outlook at the church. While the first act did feel a bit preachy, the story switches gears, and I was surprised to find myself won over. Ultimately, this film avoids treating Sam like a saint. He, like everyone, is flawed. At one point in the picture, he even questions his own faith, which I found quite bold. It is these honest moments that thankfully over shadow the sticky, pretentious stuff. I'm still waiting for someone to make a film about a couple who both have different beliefs, but still have a happy, healthy relationship. Believe me, when I tell you, that sort of thing does exist. Maybe someday, I can tell that story.

Ultimately, Charly went in a direction I wasn't expecting. A direction that most of us can relate to. For that, I applaud this well intentioned movie.

:: zBoneman.com Reader Comments ::

Mark Bradshaw

Mark Bradshaw

I've noticed that you guys don't miss any of the LDS films, which leads me to one of two possible conclusions: either you guys are Mormons or you live in Utah and are surrounded by them. I'm not poking fun, mind you - heck I'm a latter day myself, just curious that's all. There's another guy like the Boneman named Eric Snider who has a pretty cool site ericdsnider.com, he makes no bones about being a Mormon, but he doesn't back away from R rated movies and so forth, you might check it out. I met him once and he's kind of an arrogant dickhead if you want my true opinion, plus the Boneman's definitely funnier.

Thanks Adam

Thanks Adam

I missed this one when I complemented you on your favorable grade for the LDS themed films. Still think you should re-think the R.M.

Emilee

Emilee

Charly was my all time favorite movie. It does start off pretty boring and picture perfect, but after that I was madly in love. I could watch it every day and still cry! I love Heather Beers in it, she is amazing.

Erin

Erin

Charly is and always will be one of my favorite movies. I try to rent it every time I go get a movie. I cry everytime, but its worth it. Heather Beers and Jeremy Elliot are so wonderful together. A beautiful woman and a handsome guy. One a control freak and another someone who likes to have fun. Its the best movie!

GIOVANA

GIOVANA

quiero fotos de la pelicula durante la filmacion especialmente la del matrimonio de chrly para apreciar mejor el vestido de novia,giovi

kenna

kenna

I love this movie! It is one of the few movies where the movie is as good as the book. It is funny, sweet, cute, fairy-tale, and heart breaking all at the same time. It is one that you can lose yourself in, it captures you. I think everyone can relate a little to what is felt in it. The actors and actresses did an amazing job, the music is fantastic, and it will always be one that is on my favorites list.

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