Bizarre, at times creepy, romantic comedy

2010-10-25 00:00

IN an utterly unremarkable and predicable offering from director Burr Steers, Zac Efron plays Charlie St Cloud — a talented young man whose life is struck by a sudden tragedy.

The film begins in 2005 with Charlie, a young sailor, about to leave for a prestigious university on a sailing scholarship.

Kim Basigner makes an appearance as his supportive, hard-working mother (you’ll believe it if you make a conscious effort to ignore her heavily botoxed face).

Charlie, his mother and younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) are a happy family — poor, but happy.

Their lives are changed forever one night when Charlie and Sam are involved in a car accident that kills Sam and leaves Charlie flat-lined in an ambulance.

By some miracle, Charlie is brought back to life and — for some reason — he is able to see an apparition of his dead brother, or something. It’s bizarre, poorly explained and a little creepy. For the next five years, Charlie stays in his small seaside town, meeting up with his brother’s ghost every day at sunset.

He even sees the occasional dead person (here I like to imagine M. Night Shyamalan rolling his eyes and shaking his head).

To cut a long (and boring) story short, Charlie finally discovers why he has this strange ability when an old classmate shows up in the small town. Amanda Crew (Tess Carroll) is back, and she’s the one with the sailing know-how — she’s getting ready to sail around the world alone.

A mysterious sequence of events leads Charlie to the biggest decision of his life: choosing between (quite literally) hanging on to his dead brother’s ghost or moving on and using his ability to save someone he loves.

Although the film was painfully slow, the teenage girls in the cinema waited it out and were rewarded with a few scenes of a shirt-less Efron.

Efron does his best to express his character’s guilt and anger, but the predictable story and even more predictable dialogue does little to help him.

It’s disappointing, considering the Steers-Efron team brought the highly successful 17 Again to life.

**

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