.

The Truth About Charlie

Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton

Directed by Jonathan Demme
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 25, 2002

Remaking Stanley Donen's class-act 1963 caper Charade certainly qualifies as a risk. So does casting mere mortals, Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, in roles created by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn at their Olympian heights. Charlie isn't sacrilege; it's playtime for Demme after the heavy lifting of The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Beloved. The plot is the same jumble of Paris cops and robbers with a mystery man (Wahlberg) offering to help a damsel (Newton) find out who murdered her husband — that's Charlie. But while Charade was old-school, Charlie is directed by Demme in the anything-goes style of the French New Wave (Truffaut, Godard), which redefined film in the 1960s. The handheld camera bounces, the soundtrack bubbles with music from French Africa and the Caribbean, and the actors — notably a Walter Matthau-channeling Tim Robbins as an embassy wonk and a smashing Christine Boisson as a Paris cop — spin the plot. Demme can't sustain the fizz, but seeing a real filmmaker try and fall short is still more fun than watching a hack hit the mark.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com