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Charlie Bartlett

PUBLISHED: 17:39 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 24 August 2010

Charlie Bartlett www.charliebartlett-themovie.com American teen comedies are an intriguing breed. Filled to the brim with cultural references that seem a world away from the reality of English schools, they often fail to click wi

Charlie Bartlett

www.charliebartlett-themovie.com

American teen comedies are an intriguing breed. Filled to the brim with cultural references that seem a world away from the reality of English schools, they often fail to click with audiences this side of the pond, writes Alex Wellman.

Charlie Bartlett is not your average teen comedy though.

Expelled from numerous private schools for various dodgy money making schemes the titular hero finds himself in the only place he has left to go - public school.

Walking in on his first day with a blazer and attaché case marks Charlie (Anton Yelchin) out as something of an oddity.

A beating from the school bully Murphy (Tyler Hilton) makes his overly medicated mother (Hope Davis) send him to a psychiatrist who diagnoses him as having Attention Deficit Disorder and administers a series of drugs.

His scheming brain kicks in and soon he has set himself as the school's agony uncle, dishing out advice and prescription drugs from the boys toilets.

Going into business with his former nemesis Murphy, the popularity and adulation he has long desired comes to him.

He is soon back in trouble though as his scam is caught out and he begins dating the principal's (Robert Downey Jr) daughter (Kat Dennings).

We have love, hate, feuds and redemption here and while it is packaged and delivered in a seemingly new way it is in the end, still a teen movie.

The acting is good, with Davis excelling as a mother who has no idea what to do, and although he battles with his converse trainers for screen time, Yelchin clearly has a bright future ahead of him.

A good solid film that fades in the second half, but can be excused because of a fun beginning.

alex,wellman@archant.co.uk

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