After loving the book Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood, I immediately wanted to watch the movie. Luckily my library had a copy of the DVD so I went straight to pick it up. Here are my thoughts on the movie and a comparison to the book.
Charlie St. Cloud
Director: Burr Steers
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Released: July 2010
Staring: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta
Synopsis from IMDB:
Charlie St. Cloud has been given the gift of seeing his deceased brother, but when a new love interest is in trouble he must choose between saving a life or continuing to see his brother everyday.
Not only was I attracted to this movie because I had enjoyed the book, but I guess you could say that I am a Zac Efron fan and I normally watch anything he stars in. Charlie and his younger brother had a typical sibling relationship. After the accident that took Sam’s life, the realization of how their strong bond and love for each other was intensified and was quite touching to watch. Charlie’s continued devotion made for quite an emotional experience watching the movie. I was happy to see Canadian actress Amanda Crew as co-star Tess Carroll. I have been following her career since her days on the television show 15/Love. It’s nice to see her continued success transfer onto the big screen. My favourite parts form Charlie St. Cloud included the opening yacht race and boating scenes, because of the excitement and beautiful scenery. I enjoyed the movie and the actors who portrayed the characters, but I thought that there were holes in the storyline. Some parts I felt weren’t explained very well. I think that was probably due to time constraints, but it did effect the overall feeling of the movie.
Book/ Movie Comparison:
Oh boy.. where do I start? Ben Sherwood’s original storyline for Charlie St. Cloud was definitely better than that of the movie. There were quite a few differences, most notably in the ages of the characters. In the book version Charlie was only 14 years old when he and Sam got into the car accident. However the movie portrays Charlie as a few years older, having just graduated high school. The way Tess and Charlie meet in the cemetery is quite different as well. I feel as if the inclusion of Kim Basinger’s role as Charlie and Sam’s mother was more for the star factor of having another known name attached to the film. And the relationship between Charlie and Ray Liotta’s Florio, wasn’t given the attention it deserved. Although in some cases I wish I watched the movie before reading the book because then I could go and fill in the plot holes by reading the story afterwards. Instead I feel a bit let down by the movie adaptation.
My Rating: 3/5
Recommended For: People who enjoy watching Nicholas Sparks type love stories. I would also recommend that people watch the movie first then consider reading the book.