Charlie Bartlett is a pretty simple movie: Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) has gotten kicked out of every private school, so his mother (Hope Davis) enrolls him in public school. It starts off bad for Charlie Bartlett, as he’s plagued by a bully, Murphy (Tyler Hilton). But soon, Charlie Bartlett becomes the most popular kid in school, acting as a psychiatrist to the students and prescribing them medications. Unfortunately, he’s also started seeing Susan (Kat Dennings), who happens to be the daughter of the troubled alcoholic principal (Robert Downey Jr.).

First, I might as well get it out of the way… there can be two different drinking games played during this movie: First, anytime somebody uses the full name of “Charlie Bartlett” instead of just “Charlie.” Second, anytime Robert Downey Jr. downs some liquor himself.

Okay, so on to the review. The movie is rather predictable, and you can pretty much figure out what’s gonna happen by the end of the movie. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good movie. Honestly, I really enjoyed it. It started off rather slow, as it feels it takes ages to get to the psychiatric stuff. But overall, it was really good and entertaining. And it had heart.

The acting was actually really good. Anton Yelchin (you might recognize him from Alpha Dog) does rather well, really, except for the really forced closing line of the movie. Kat Dennings (you might recognize her as the daughter in 40-Year-Old-Virgin) is the movie’s eye candy (and plays it well), but she acts her part out nicely, too. The props go to Robert Downey Jr., though, who was really able to pull off that whole down-on-his-luck drunk really well (…hmm…*cough*).

There were some really funny scenes, some really heartfelt scenes, and some really sad scenes (and it’s pretty easy to figure out which characters those might emit from very early on in the movie). I really don’t see the comparison people have been making to Ferris Bueller (granted, those are typically the people who have yet to see the movie). Oh, and I probably would have really rolled my eyes at the whole Ritalin segments had I not actually known people who have been on it and heard some Ritalin-induced horror stories. Anyway, it’s a great movie all on its own. I’d recommend it to anybody that doesn’t get easily annoyed by Anton Yelchin’s voice.

I Am McLovin!

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