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Charlie Bartlett

A rich kid on the road to comeuppance
By TOM MEEK  |  February 20, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
Charlie_Bartlett_inside
Anton Yelchin and Robert Downey Jr.

Hollywood loves to send rich kids on the road to comeuppance, from The Magnificent Ambersons to Ferris Buehler’s Day Off and Igby Goes Down. They’re all confronted with the same question — why do kids who’ve been given so much squander their golden opportunities? Is it lack of love? A festering family secret? Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin, the victim in Alpha Dog) has been kicked out of a string of prep schools and is now going public — chauffeur, coat and tie, and all. Sure enough, he gets his ass beat, but when he starts dealing in Ritalin, Zoloft, and life coaching, he becomes a superstar and a thorn in the side of Principal Gardner (Robert Downey Jr.), a situation that’s exacerbated when he starts dating Gardner’s daughter, Susan (Kat Dennings). Director Jon Poll and writer Gustin Nash don’t offer a fresh spin on the material. Yelchin, however, can claim a breakthrough, and Hope Davis adds sass as Charlie’s pill-popping mom. 93 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Circle/Chestnut Hill + suburbs
Related: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Patty Larceny, 2009 Oscar predictions, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Robert Downey Jr., Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis,  More more >
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