Most of my favourite films are romantic classics from previous decades – like Gone with the Wind. But I do occasionally watch a more recent film, and a friend recommended I watched the 2010 film Charlie St. Cloud because she had seen it and thought it would strike a chord with me.
At first I was unsure; I thought perhaps it was a film for teenagers, especially given that the male lead, Zac Efron, is famous for his role in High School Musical. But within ten minutes of watching I quite understood why my friend had suggested this film to me. I am such a fan of simple, emotive films whose central focus is love.
What really stood out to me in the story was the love between the main character, Charlie, and his brother. The lengths he will go to in order to preserve his relationship with his brother is so moving. Family is very important to me, and I thought it was really refreshing to see a love story put so much emphasis on a familial bond. The ending is so poignant – sad and happy in the same moment. I defy anyone to watch the end without tearing up!
The love story itself is also compelling – I especially like the focus on having faith in the person you love against all odds. I love the whirlwind romance; the way their love frees Charlie from the difficult life he’s been living; the fact that Tess, the girl he falls for, is a strong, independent woman but ultimately still needs him. Most of all, I love the quietness, the simplicity of the story – at the end, when Tess doesn’t quite remember what’s happened, there’s no battle about this, just a gentle acceptance that all will come right.
A superbly moving and uplifting film.
I now realise that the film is based on a book by Ben Sherwood. Usually, I prefer to read a book before seeing the screen adaptation; but in this case I enjoyed the film so much that I think I will read the novel now.