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.