Charlie St. Cloud
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Charlie Tahan, Ray Liotta (in a nice guy role, rare and nice to see a further dimension to this usually volatile actor). Drama/romance/fantasy. Written by Burr Steers, Craig Pearce, Lewis Colick. Directed by Burr Steers.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Accomplished sailor Charlie St. Cloud has the adoration of his mother, Claire, and his little brother, Sam, as well as a college scholarship that will lead him far from his sleepy Pacific Northwest hometown. But his bright future is cut short when a tragedy strikes and takes his dreams with it. After his high school classmate Tess returns home unexpectedly, Charlie becomes torn between honoring a promise he made four years earlier and moving forward with newfound love.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Touching, involving and somewhat old-fashioned – you know the kind of story once told without crudity being the basis of most jokes. Except for a few minor abuses of language, a couple of crude jokes made by a supporting character, and one profanity (not from the lead), it’s a rather clean movie. At one point, the lead is given a St. Jude medallion and the giver has prayed to the saint of lost causes and thanks him for an answered entreaty. While I would have preferred to see him pray to Christ, there is a poignant significance to the film’s theme - things happen for a reason and God intercedes in our daily lives.

Though not attempting to present the Gospel, the film does get people to think about spiritual matters. It is a parable, not a sermon. So if you think the ethereal plotline of having the lead led by a dead relative is askew from biblical teaching, then you may be disappointed. But as with Field of Dreams (“If you build it, they will come.”) and M. Night Shymalan’s The Sixth Sense (“I see dead people”), these messengers from another dimension are meant to be allegorical. They remind us of the significance of life and how we can affect the lives of others.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Universal

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual references from a supporting character; Charlie’s little brother calls him a name, using a crude bodily term.
Obscene Language: Three obscenities – 2 s-words and one SOB and a couple of minor expletives.
Profanity: One profane use of God’s name by a minor character.
Violence: A jolting car crash – this scene is seen again in flashback; losing his temper with a mean-spirited bully, Charlie belts him; a boat crash not seen leads to two people getting bumped about in the sea. Blood: A small amount of blood seen at a crash site.
Sexual Intercourse: A few passionate kisses and it is implied that the couple slept together over night, but it is not clear if they had sexual intercourse.
Nudity: None, though the girls will most likely enjoy Mr. Efron shirtless in one scene.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: A supporting character drinks heavily, but Charlie doesn’t seem interested in alcohol; he keeps turning down drinks though he is seen with a beer once and has wine with dinner once.
Other: None
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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