Charlie Bartlett (played by Anton Yelchin) is a bit of a troublemaker. First off, he's a pretty damn brilliant kid. His problem is that he wants to be liked. He's willing to do just about anything to get his fellow classmates to be his friends. When his exploits get him kicked out of yet another private school, mom (Hope Davis) decides it's time to try the local public high. Mom's a bit dependent on the help of a prescription happy psychiatrist and after Charlie is beaten up, sends him to ole doc for a talk, which ends in an Rx for Ritalin. Charlie discovers that he really doesn't need the stuff, but in doing so also discovers what ritalin will do to a kid without ADD. He teams up with bully Murphey Bivens (Tyler Hilton) and starts his own little psych business in the boys' bathroom. Of course there's a love interest, Susan Gardner (Kat Dennings), who just happens to be the daughter of over-stressed and under-appreciated Principle Nathan Gardner (played by Robert Downey Jr.)
Anton Yelchin is fantastic. He starred in the super talked about Alpha Dog (in my rental queue) and the film based on King's Hearts in Atlantis. He can also be seen in the upcoming Star Trek and Terminator movies, as well as director John Stockwell's upcoming Middle of Nowhere. He is cute as can be, even if he is more age appropriate for my sisters, and he's just a great actor. Kat Dennings is another one to watch, she'll be starring in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist due out later this year. Hope Davis, Charlie's charming mother, is one you should recognize. She also stars in Hearts as well as a little indy film that I particularly liked, The Nines.
And of course there's Robert Downey, Jr. I'm a convert. Growing up when I did, much of what I had heard about him involved his many battles with addiction and recurring trips to rehab. I have to say that in recent years he seems to have gotten himself back together. I absolutely loved him in Iron Man, and thought he was great as the very overly stressed dad and high school principle in this film. Interestingly enough, he's rumored to be playing Sherlock Holmes in an upcoming Guy Ritchie film based on an also upcoming comic written by one Lionel Wigram.
So, an astoundingly amazing cast, a witty and sarcastically humorous film, over all Charlie Bartlett is a great one to watch!