What’s sad is that no one tries to meet the kids’ needs with a spiritual solution.  But isn’t that typical of life in our public schools?  It would have been so wonderful to see a Moms in Touch group quietly praying for the children (as in our public school), and rejoicing when God touches lives in remarkable ways.

Overall, Charlie Bartlett is a well-made, funny but sad, targeted look at the very real emotions that plague our children.  It is very worth the ride as an enlightening case study on the cynicism, meaninglessness, relativism, disillusionment with authority, and desperate search for authenticity that many teens deal with daily.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Beer, wine, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and prescription drugs shown often.  One character is an alcoholic who drinks constantly and gets in trouble.  All substance abuse is rebuked in the end.
  • Language/Profanity:  Numerous (about two dozen) obscenities and a few profanities.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Topless girls (hyped up on Ritalin) seen running through high school hallway; girl seduces guy into losing his virginity; nothing overt shown. 
  • Violence:  Bully beats up other kids and videotapes it.  Includes punches, bloody noses, kids crammed into lockers, etc.  A man fires about four shots out of a gun and accidentally pushes a student into a pool. He rushes to make sure he doesn't drown; the student survives. A man attempts suicide by taking a large dosage of anti-depressants.
  • Worldview:  The hearts of high schoolers are empty, and no one is giving them good answers for their angst.