A wayward 18-year-old (Nick Robinson) whose emotionally distant politician father (Cary Elwes) is running for governor of California struggles with drug addiction in Being Charlie, a rehab drama inspired by the family experiences of Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner and his son, the film’s co-screenwriter, Nick Reiner.
Despite its semi-autobiographical origins, the movie doesn’t steer clear of cliché. All too predictably, it gives the hero a firm-but-fair mentor (played by rapper Common), an enabling buddy (Devon Bostick) and an all-too conventional fellow-addict love interest (Homeland’s Morgan Saylor) as he falls on and off the wagon. Besides, Robinson’s protagonist is such a glib smart-ass that he tries the patience of everyone who encounters him, including the viewer.
Certificate 15. Runtime 97 mins. Director Rob Reiner
Being Charlie debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 16 January. Available on DVD & Digital from Cockerel Entertainment.