‘Being Charlie’ a rehab story with little substance

In this May 2, 2016 photo, writer-director Rob Reiner poses for a portrait in New York. Reiner has always had an affinity for the father-son story and has explored the theme and his own life in films like "Stand By Me" and "A Few Good Men," but none have come so close as "Being Charlie," loosely based on his son Nick Reiner's struggles with drugs. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)

In this May 2, 2016 photo, writer-director Rob Reiner poses for a portrait in New York. Reiner has always had an affinity for the father-son story and has explored the theme and his own life in films like “Stand By Me” and “A Few Good Men,” but none have come so close as “Being Charlie,” loosely based on his son Nick Reiner’s struggles with drugs. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)

Stephen Holden – The New York Times

“Being Charlie” has a strong autobiographical component. According to the production notes, Nick Reiner (the director’s son) wrote the screenplay with Matt Elisofon, whom he met in rehab. Charlie, like Elisofon, is an aspiring stand-up comedian. And the brief scenes of Charlie on the stage reveal him to be a brash showoff with at least a modicum of talent.

Let’s assume that Rob Reiner made a movie peopled with disagreeable characters to transcend the feel-good clichés of the nostalgic family entertainments for which he’s known with a more realistic film about contemporary issues. But the movie’s refusal to abandon commercial formulas and examine its characters’ inner lives suggests that the director’s years inside the Hollywood bubble may have prevented him from recognizing the degree to which independent films and television are already overrun with deeper, more sensitive explorations of addiction and recovery.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Being Charlie”


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