Life Of Charlie (2008) Film Review

The result of of ten film students from Ontario, Canada, Life Of Charlie is a strangely charming low-budget flick. Perhaps what is most appealing about the film is how much it captures the spirit of young adults in this day and age, when it seems like many 20-somethings are discontent, wondering where they are headed in life and how they are getting there.

Life Of Charlie starts off detailing moments in small town life where everyone seems to know everyone else. From horse races to ramshackle house parties, the filmmakers truly give the audience a taste of a lifestyle where no one seems to have any real aspirations beyond surviving the day-to-day and having fun. The main character, Charlie, is in a dead-end band that “has talent” but is still going nowhere, and it becomes quite obvious early on that he has nothing in common with his bandmates, who ridicule him for his indie folk songwriting and “gay” musings on being in love. Charlie’s eyes are only opened to his true feelings on life when a city girl transplant shows him what he’s missing in life, and even then, the movie is surprisingly careful not to delve into overly cheesy territory.

The acting is not exactly top-notch, but because of the entertaining dialogue and convincing screenwriting, Life Of Charlie is a student film that is actually very enjoyable. There are some really captivating moments in this film, and an introspective folk rock soundtrack to boot.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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