The characters remain halfway between genuine comic creations and realistic individuals, and the whole narrative feels artificial, stuck in the tension between being a morality play and a freewheeling comedy.
Those waiting for the arrival of the next Juno may want to skip Charlie Bartlett, a relentlessly earnest teen film about a 17-year-old misfit who's been tossed out of one prep school after another for bad behavior.
[Sitting through] Charlie Bartlett makes you feel as if you've just watched three episodes of a new TV series you can't wait to see more of -- one that's so funny and smart and unpredictable, it would probably only survive one season on the air.
Appropriating many of the rebel responsibilities of Ferris Bueller and Rushmore's Max Fischer but little of their fresh charms, the title teen iconoclast of this antic yet bland comedy is showily updated for our psychotropic age.
Rollicking story of a rich kid whose wildly successful bid for popularity has him playing drug-distributing shrink to an entire high school boasts pitch-perfect faceoffs between Anton Yelchin and Robert Downey Jr. could fuel a chemistry lab.