If you’re new here, there’s this game we play, where we recreate the plot of crappy movies using only expository quotes from its reviews (NO ANALYSIS!). As it turns out, the plots of bad movies are generally pretty hilarious on their own. Today’s movie is Charlie St. Cloud, starring Zac Efron. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that I’ve been waiting for this moment for three months. THANK GOD, IT’S FINALLY HERE! PILOT MY SAILBOAT, ZAC EFRON! PLAY BALL WIT YA DEAD BROTHAH!
As Charlie, Efron plays catch every day at sunset with his younger brother, Sam. The problem? Sam died in a car accident. (Rolling Stone)
We meet Charlie at his peak — King of the Quincy, Washington small-boat sailors, headed to Stanford on a sailing scholarship. (OrlandoSentinel)
Yeah, Mom has to work two jobs to keep them going, but Charlie and his somewhat spoiled kid brother are lucky kids with bright futures. (OS)
Then, graduation night — “Kegger at the Point tonight!” — a car accident, and Sam is gone. (OS)
Charlie was at the wheel. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Charlie dies too — at least in spirit. (Entertainment Weekly)
But a devout Catholic paramedic (Ray Liotta) willed him back to life. (OS)
Charlie’s life derails. (ChicagoTribune)
Instead of heading off to Stanford to realize his dream of becoming a sailing champion, he stays home (EW)
…to become a hermit-like groundskeeper at the cemetery where Sam is buried. (CT)
Strange things happen there. Charlie thinks he sees Sam behind a gravestone. Then, one day, looking quite hale, Sam shows up with his baseball glove and ball in hand. A bargain is struck: Every day at sundown… (CT)
…he promises the now-dead brother that he’ll meet him “at evening cannons” (guns fired at the yacht club at sunset) to play catch and talk Red Sox baseball. (OS)
The brothers will throw the ball around, talk about the things that matter, and work on their grounders. (CT)
Charlie’s days are consumed by chasing a flock of sh*t-happy ducks, his evenings devoted to playing catch with Sam. (Time Out New York)
Cut to five years later, everybody else has moved on. But Charlie couldn’t go to college. (OS)
He has given up his talent and passion for boats. (NY Observer)
He works and lives at the cemetery, hangs with the morbid wacky Brit gravedigger, and can only gaze in envy as his former sailing rival preps for to be the youngest competitor in an “Around Alone” round-the-world sailboat race. (OS)
But Charlie has special powers, and he communes with more than one spirit. (CT)
Locked in his own grief, Charlie is visited by the ghosts of dead school chums who lost their lives in the war; by the paramedic who pulled him from the wreck after he flatlined; and by the ghost of Sam, who joins him water sledding with garbage can lids on their feet. (NYO)
Of course, nobody who looks like Zac Efron can retire from anything before he’s eventually discovered-by a talent scout with dollar signs in his eyes or a girl with raging hormones in her jeans. (NYO)
Wait, what? Aw, god dammit, Rex Reed, you’re screwing up this whole bit. Sorry, guys, disregard.
His onetime sailing competitor, Tess, starts gumming up the works, romantically speaking, Charlie confronts a host of tough questions. (CT)
Charlie shows her the depressing cottage where he lives with all of Sam’s possessions packed into moldy boxes, and his bed, where he gets a chance to try out the sheets and strip. (NYO)
Tess is interested, but she’s about to hit the high seas. Charlie is interested, but he can’t leave Quincy. (OS)
Charlie gets his chance to rejoin the living when Tess is lost at sea and he sets out to prove she’s still alive. (NYO)
At a key juncture, Charlie and Tess get together in the cemetery for something nobody ever does in the “Twilight” series, and then we learn it’s not happening, at least not the way we think it is, because she has suffered a horrible sailing accident. And needs rescuing. By someone preferably shirtless. And someone ready to let go of his grief, which means letting go of the metaphor for that grief, the kid with the glove. (CT)
YA GAWTAH LET GO A YA DEAD BROTHA, CHAAHLIE, GO SAWX! Oh man. That was better than sex (from what I remember). What is it with sappy movies and odd scholarships, anyway? (See also: Miley Cyrus’ full-piano ride at Juilliard). “I turned down a puppetry scholarship at RISD, damn you!”
I don’t know. But this much is certain, Rex Reed reeeeally likes Zac Efron:
The camera practically makes love to him, moving in for angles and emotions to make audiences swoon. Zac looking up. Zac looking down. Zac in profile. Zac with tears clouding his perfect blue eyes. Zac looking pensive. Zac looking misty-eyed. This is a crime, because there is serious evidence that he adds up to more than eye candy.
I want more like this!
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