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CStC Reviews Part B

Creative Loafing
Edward Adams

MONEY SHOTS: During an annual yacht club race, Charlie and Sam push their boat, the Splendid Splinter through the pack of sailboats as they fight to take the lead again other seasoned racers. As morbid as it seems, the graphic image of the fatal car crash is both painful and fascinating to watch.

BEST LINES: Charlie, now the town’s cemetery caretaker, warns a marine about rubbing bird droppings off a tombstone, to which the marine replies “If I was going to rub one out, I wouldn’t do it at a graveyard, St. Cloud.” As the soldier turns he sees the comment is from his high school friend Sully (Dave Franco), who's “home” from the war. Charlie won’t give over his latest issue of Pacific Yachting to Sam because he thinks his brother will wreck it. Sam jokingly snorts, “Oh, I’m totally gonna wreck it, repeatedly.”

WORST LINE: Charlie runs into Florio Ferrente (Ray Liotta), the paramedic who brought him back from the dead, at a local cafe where they exchange pleasantries. Ferrente now a shell of his former self explains to Charlie, “I got the big C,” referring to cancer.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Charlie patrols and maintains the grounds of the cemetery on a John Deer Gator. Tess’ sailboat is plastered with sponsor labels, including Kodak and Sperry Top-Sider, the nautical moccasin shoemakers.

HEY WAIT A MINUTE, I’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE: Well not really, but there are elements from two supernatural films: The Invisibles and The Sixth Sense. If you’re horror/sci-fi buff, you’ll pick up on those moments immediately.



NUMBER OF EFRON CLOSE-UPS: Too many to count. I stopped at 24.

A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS: A pendant of Saint Jude shows up several times throughout the film. It first appears in the possession of Ferrente, later its bequeathed to Charlie. According to the Catholic Guide to Saints and Angels, Jude is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.

BOTTOM LINE: What starts out as a sappy love letter between brothers slowly, and I mean slowly, turns into a sappy, melodramatic farce that’s just impossible to embrace. Director Burr Steers' choice to make the film to skew younger for the Efron fans, sadly turns the supernatural relationship between the St. Clouds into a drawn out bore and forces the conflict of severing the connection mundane and anti-climatic. The film's high point is Efron and Tahan's genuine performances. The two actors do an incredible job of creating a credible symbiotic relationship on screen that's moving despite some sappy dialogue.

Efron proves he’s more than capable of handling the dark, demanding role of Charlie, but with the shaky story, bland dialogue and muddy climax, even he can’t keep this log afloat.


Lansing City Pulse
James Sanford

The supernatural soap opera “Charlie St. Cloud” asks several vital questions. What is the proper length of time to spend grieving over a lost loved one? How many times will poor Zac Efron have to play a high school senior? And, perhaps most importantly: Do ghosts masturbate?

Based on Ben Sherwood’s novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” director Burr Steers’ film has admirable intentions that are frequently undermined by a surplus of lovingly framed close-ups of its star. At certain points, “Charlie” threatens to become an Efron fashion shoot masquerading as a movie: Here’s Zac with a lighthouse backdrop, Zac in the raging surf, Zac at sunset, Zac after dark, etc.

That’s marvelous for the fans who’ll buy the DVD in a few months and use it to create Zac-tastic computer wallpaper; it’s not so great for viewers looking for meaty drama instead of beefcake-y, Tiger Beat-ready pin-ups.

When he’s not called upon to strike poses in front of magnificent backdrops, Efron gives a sincere, reasonably convincing performance as the sad-eyed title character, whose life collapsed after the death of his younger brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan). An 11-year-old would-be baseball star round of cheek and smart of mouth, Sam departed this world shortly after the car in which he and Charlie were traveling collided with an 18-wheeler. That was five years ago, and now Charlie, who was driving, is so burdened with survivor guilt he becomes the caretaker at the cemetery where Sam is buried, a position that allows Charlie to confer with Sam’s ghost every day at sunset.

Charlie and Sam also regularly play catch, although the film makes no attempt to explain exactly how Sam’s now-ectoplasmic hands could grab a baseball. Death has apparently done nothing to curb Sam’s bubbling hormones. Charlie shows him a magazine article about the comely yacht racing champion Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew); the pictures make Sam drool and he grabs the book away from Charlie. “You’re gonna wreck it!” Charlie snaps. “Oh, I’m gonna wreck it — repeatedly!” Sam promises, with a pronounced pubescent leer.

That’s a sight “Charlie” thoughtfully spares us from witnessing.

Sam’s fantasies become Charlie’s realities as he becomes fast friends with Tess, who wants Charlie — once a renowned sailor himself — to help her prepare for her next race. Unfortunately, that would require Charlie to finally let Sam’s spirit move on, something he’s not sure he can do.

Thanks to Enrique Chediak’s photography of the Washington State coastline, “Charlie” is certainly an eye-pleasing experience, and it makes a couple of thought-provoking points about the grieving process along the way. The screenplay goes off in a couple of unexpected directions, presenting Charlie as a seriously troubled guy badly in need of therapy instead of a misguided but good-natured goofball. It’s also a bit startling to see the closest thing the story has to a villain is an arrogant, affluent and possibly alcoholic African-American who wears pink shirts and — heaven help us — works for Goldman Sachs. Although they have skimpy screen time, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta and Donal Logue provide capable work in key supporting roles, and the relationship between Efron and Tahan is believably brotherly.

If only the movie gave Efron more time to build his character and fewer opportunities to build his modeling portfolio. The effective episodes in “Charlie” (and be forewarned it does make a valiant stab at the tear ducts) are ultimately outweighed by its need to remind us that our haunted hero is also a hunky hottie.


Vancouver Courier
Julie Crawford

Clouds of melodrama obfuscate a fairly decent plot in Charlie St. Cloud, the locally shot summer drama starring Zac Efron.

It only takes a few bad choices--starting with that dippy title and ending with a ruined weepy scene--to douse a promising premise in saccharinity. Efron soldiers through, however, convincingly playing a young man with loyalties pulled between the living and the dead.

The perfectly engineered Efron may look like life has never been bad to him, but his character has struggled: Charlie has dealt with daddy abandonment and the barbs of rich kids at the yacht club, who call him a "townie" and sail off into the sunset while Charlie's mom (Kim Basinger) pulls double shifts at the hospital.

But even without a silver-spoon pedigree, Charlie is off on a full sailing scholarship to Princeton, much to the chagrin of kid brother Sam (Nights in Rodanthe's Charlie Tahan).

Then, a driver's ed refresher course--never turn your wheels while waiting to turn left--and the film takes a dark turn. Charlie is saved (by a St. Jude-invoking Ray Liotta) but Sam is not, and Charlie finds himself with a twilight date to keep with his little brother each night.

Five years later Charlie's still at it: visiting Sam in the evening and working as cemetery caretaker during the day. Mom has moved to Portland (Basinger barely has time to utter the line "you can't put life on hold--it won't wait for you," before she's out of the picture) and Charlie's friends have all moved on.

Then Charlie bumps into Tess (Langley-born Amanda Crew), an early sailing rival who's about to embark on a solo voyage around the world.

Sure, it's unlikely they'd make out in a graveyard, especially in the chilly Pacific Northwest, but hey, Tess gets Charlie sailing again after five years. Charlie is torn between his brother and his new love: "the more I'm in your world, the less I can be in his."

It's not all maudlin. The script is peppered with light humour (including an awesome pre-punch apology by Charlie) and romantic, occasionally computer-generated vistas.

Vancouver once again stands in for the Seattle area. It's fun ogling local sites, including Deep Cove, Eagle Harbour Yacht Club and Steveston, a reminder of how gorgeous our city is. And there is plenty for Efron fans (what are they calling them these days? "Zacites"? "Fronnies"?) to ogle, too. We've got clingy wet T-shirts, no shirts at all, and a cure for hypothermia that'll have every gal wishing she was the one frozen and near-dead.

Charlie is damaged, cute and artistic--a lethal combination--and Efron, who shoulders the film (he's in every scene) and is a champion crier, proves worthy of a career outside of High School Musical territory.

Burr Steers directed 17 Again, Efron's other non-HSM film. A lighter touch during poignant moments would've resulted in audience sobs rather than sniffles. Liotta's character advises: "Don't squander this gift you've been given." Steers should've taken note.


GateHouse News
Dana Barbuto

Zac Efron sees and talks to dead people in “Charlie St. Cloud,” but don’t go in expecting any late-in-the-game Shyamalan-like twists to legitimize its grief-laden machinations.

Don’t bring your hankies, either, because as hard as “Charlie” tries to tug at your heartstrings, your eyes remain bone dry. Unless, maybe, they begin to well from all the unintentional laughter elicited by a saccharine-heavy screenplay that deals in clunker lines like: “Why did God give you a second chance?” and “Go live your life. It’s a gift.”

Add in a healthy dose of E.E. Cummings’ poetry and St. Jude medallions (patron of lost causes), and you’ve got a recipe for sentimental overkill.

Perhaps its source material, Ben Sherwood’s novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” packs a bigger emotional wallop. The only wow director Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down”) pulls off is the visually stunning sailing sequences and the postcard-perfect panoramic views of the seaside village setting.

Efron isn’t much help, either, in his second collaboration with Steers, who also directed him last year in “17 Again.” While it’s admirable that Efron wants to extend his chops beyond teen-theme musicals, you wish he’d hone his limited dramatic skills on his own time.

You name it; he tries it in fleshing out the title character. He cries. He rages. He swoons. He pines. He laughs. He grieves. But hardly any of it is believable.

Unless there’s a prop in his hands, a baseball or a beer bottle, Efron looks awkward, like he doesn’t know where to put his hands or how to carry himself.

At this point in his career, Efron is better suited as a wooden soldier. Ever since he rose to fame in the “High School Musical” franchise, Efron has tried to shed the squeaky-clean song-and-dance routine that made him a star. In hindsight, Efron should never have passed up reprising Kevin Bacon’s role in the reboot of “Footloose.” Singing and dancing are what he does well. Play to your strengths, Zac.

I don’t mean to knock the kid, either. I’ve been rooting for him and he was terrific in “Hairspray.” The one thing he brings to the table in “Charlie St. Cloud” is his incredible good looks. You don’t get tired of seeing him, which is a plus because he’s in every scene. You just get tired of him trying too hard to sell a performance he doesn’t have the chops to handle. He’s on maudlin overdrive and the script from writers Craig Pearce (“Moulin Rouge!) and Lewis Colick (“Beyond the Sea”) is as sappy as any film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. (Believe it or not, Efron is in talks to star in an adaptation of Sparks’ “The Lucky One.”)

By no means is Efron the only guy missing the mark. So is Steers, who sets a mood and tone so off-key, you’re never sure if you should be laughing or crying. Even the big plot twist is a let down.

Anyway, back to “Charlie St. Dud.” In a nutshell, a truck plows into the car Efron and his little brother, Sam (newcomer Charlie Tahan), are riding in. One minute Charlie – star sailor, scholarship to Stanford – had the world by the cajones, and the next his little brother is dead.

Sam’s death fills Charlie with unimaginable grief and derails his life. The film abruptly flashes forward five years and Charlie is still in a funk. Filled with despair, he never went to college. Instead, he’s the caretaker of the local cemetery in Quincy Harbor. Not Quincy, Mass., but the Red Sox have such a prominent showing in the film, you’d think it was shot here.

In some sort of twist of metaphysics, Charlie is able to see his dead brother and meets the boy every day at sunset to throw baseballs. Seems Sam and Charlie are both in different versions of limbo. As time passes, Charlie earns a reputation as the town weirdo, a misunderstood hunk. Enter local sailing queen Tess (a one-note Amanda Crew) as the love interest who is the doorway to healing. As is Ray Liotta’s Florio Ferrente, the paramedic who saved Charlie’s life the night of the accident. Liotta, in an all-too-brief stint, classes things up. I’d say the same for Kim Basinger (Charlie’s mom) but blink and you might miss her.

While the scenes with Efron and Tahan are borderline endearing, the real scene-stealer is Augustus Prew, who plays Charlie’s only friend. Prew injects life – and intended laughs – into a movie that is otherwise dead on arrival.


Catholic Spirit/Movie Review
John Mulderig

Since ticket sales for this drama will likely be driven more by the well-established heartthrob's eyes themselves than by anything -- supernatural or otherwise - reflected in them, it may seem superfluous to point out that director Burr Steers' melancholy parable -- adapted from Ben Sherwood's best-selling 2004 novel, "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud" -- never quite jells.

Efron plays the titular character, a Pacific Northwest high school senior whose skill at racing sailboats has earned him a college scholarship. Though not as well off as his yachting competitors, Charlie has an emotionally rich family life shared with his hardworking mom Claire (Kim Basinger in a fleeting cameo) and younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan).

In fact, their existence is so idyllic, with Charlie devotedly mentoring Sam against the backdrop of the region's natural beauty (skillfully captured by cinematographer Enrique Chediak), that you can't help but sense doom lurking around the corner. And it's not long before a brief lapse into irresponsibility on Charlie's part leads to a car accident that claims Sam and almost kills Charlie as well.

Though miraculously revived by paramedic Florio Ferrente (Ray Liotta) -- a man of faith who attributes Charlie's return from flatline status to the intercession of St. Jude -- Charlie is racked with guilt and grief.

Inconsolable, Charlie flees Sam's burial and runs off to a nearby glade where they used to play catch, only to have Sam suddenly materialize and promise that if Charlie will return to that spot each evening at dusk -- a daily appointment they had originally agreed on so Charlie could train Sam for baseball season -- Sam will be briefly perceptible to him.

Flash forward five years and Charlie has become the caretaker at the cemetery where Sam's body rests. His reclusive life revolves around his twilight visits with his lost sibling, though he also converses with childhood chums killed in the United States' current wars.

But Charlie's enthrallment with the past is challenged when former high school classmate and fellow sailor Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew) returns to town and swiftly captures his heart, and circumstances eventually force Charlie to choose between his allegiances to the living and the dead.

That the film never fully comes together is mainly the result of the uneasy melding of genres in Craig Pearce and Lewis Colick's script. Is this meant to be an exercise in eeriness, a psychological study or a salute to romance? Efron, who transcends mere stardom to turn in a sensitive portrayal of his isolated, ethereal character, is certainly not at fault, however.

Catholic viewers will welcome the unusually spiritual and even explicitly religious undertones, manifest not only in Florio's fervent belief but in Sam's affirmation of an afterlife of bliss. They will be less pleased with the romanticizing of an encounter during which Charlie and Tess prematurely consummate their potentially life-altering love.


Palo Alto Online
Peter Canavese

Though it's hard to feel sorry for Zac Efron (even knowing that he'll get lots of reviews like this one), it's also hard to take the baby-blue-eyed teen idol seriously as he takes baby steps into more adult fare. Even his love interest in "Charlie St. Cloud" is liable to agree that he's the prettier of the two.

In his first serious dramatic test, Efron gets a passing grade (barely), but he still seems synthetic, almost as much so as the sappy magic realism of this adaptation of Ben Sherwood's novel "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud."

There's no other way to say it: Charlie sees dead people. Five years after the onetime golden boy's high-school graduation and the tragic death of his 11-year-old brother Sam (Charlie Tahan), Charlie has abandoned his plans of attending Stanford University on a sailing scholarship, instead taking a job as the caretaker of Seaside Cemetery. This way, he can keep his promise to meet Sam for daily "magic hour" baseball practice sessions. After all, there's no male bonding like "game of catch" bonding (Enrique Chediak's sun-dappled photography obliges the film's dreamy tone).

Naturally, Efron is enthusiastic to show us he can act, so he sheds many a tear from his big doe eyes. Though he's credible in these moments, the conventions of studio-backed cinema conspire against him. Playing a character whose social development has been cripplingly halted, Efron nevertheless sports gym-refined fitness and the just-so uncombed look that can be achieved only by meticulous combing. As fellow sailing buff Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew) says in one of the film's first lines of dialogue, "God, that boy is just too good!"

Though his mom (Kim Basinger) once warned: "You can't put life on hold, Charlie. It doesn't wait for you," Charlie has put his sailing days behind him (should he ever miss a sunset rendezvous, his brother would disappear for good). Still, from afar, Charlie has begun making goo-goo eyes at Tess, who's planning a six-month transglobal sailing voyage. Despite clear obstacles, a date confirms the two are a perfect fit (there's also that clinch in the graveyard ... creeee-py!), which begs a question: What to do about Sam? The Nicholas Sparks-meets-Bruce Joel Rubin plot tangles up one obvious twist, then a less obvious one before the knots can be pulled taut and at last untied in the sailing-themed third act.

Efron shows equally good chemistry with Tahan and Crew, proving again that his best asset is sheer charm. But this latest middle-of-the-road vehicle like the last, "17 Again" also proves that Efron doesn't show the adventurousness of his role model, Leonardo DiCaprio. (Anyone remember "The Basketball Diaries"?) The movie's God talk (most of it coming from ... Ray Liotta?) and blatant expression of theme through platitudes make this romantic melodrama as drippy as the St. Cloud boys' eyes.


Dan Metcalf Jr

My daughter thinks Zac Efron is dreamy. So do a lot of other young women and girls, which is why I suppose he still gets plenty of work and why films like Charlie St. Cloud get produced.

Efron plays the title character Charlie, who is involved in a fatal crash that claims the life of his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan). In the crash, Charlie also "dies" but is brought back to life by a paramedic (Ray Liotta). Prior to his brother's death, Charlie was destined to attend Stanford on a sailing scholarship, but the tragedy of his loss consumes him into a reclusive life as a graveyard caretaker in his Pacific northwest hometown.

Charlie's brush with death leaves him with the ability to "see dead people," including his little brother. Charlie makes a pact with Sam to meet him in the woods and throw a baseball with him at sunset everyday.

Five years after the fatal crash, a former high school classmate named Tess (Amanda Crew) sails into town, and the two begin a relationship based on their affinity for sailing. When Tess sails into a storm by herself, she suddenly appears at the graveyard the next morning and the relationship heats up. Soon, Charlie must decide whether to pursue Tess and a life with purpose, or continue visiting with his brother every evening, wallowing in despair.

Charlie St. Cloud is a movie that should appeal to some. There are a lot of elements we have seen so many times before, especially the premise of people having near-death experiences seeing lost souls and spirits. It's an overused cinematic vehicle, with predictable results, which nearly put me to sleep, since I figured out the ending about 45 minutes into the film.

Efron is serviceable as a leading man, if only for his looks, which appear as a model who stepped out of a sailing apparel catalog. Charlie Tahan turns in an adequate performance as the little brother trapped between spiritual dimensions. Kim Basinger's cameo role as the boys' mother seems wasted, even though she gets high billing.

I didn't love Charlie St. Cloud the way some young women will. Still, some may find the existential narrative of Charlie St. Cloud appealing, which is sweet in its premise, albeit a little too sappy for me.


Hollywood Chicago
Patrick M

The rise of Zac Efron has been one of the more interesting movie stories of the past year. Fresh from his notable role in “Me and Orson Welles,’ Efron takes the lead in “Charlie St. Cloud,” with veteran actors Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger. This journey into afterlife issues highlights some nice acting chops from Efron.

Zac Efron is Charlie St. Cloud, a middle class kid in a rich yachting town near Puget Sound in Washington state. He is helping to raise his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) with his single mother Claire (Kim Basinger). His talents on the sailing team in high school has landed him a scholarship at Stanford (now that’s an endowment!) and the future is as bright as his gleaming teeth.

Charlie and Sam have a brilliantly close relationship, having grew up with each other after their father ran out on them. They bond over baseball and Sam’s unrivaled love for the Boston Red Sox. On an ordinary night in which Charlie is driving Sam to a friend’s house, a freak automobile accident occurs and Sam is killed. Or is he?

Charlie is revived from death in the ambulance, by a heads-up paramedic (Ray Liotta) and the guilt over not protecting Sam from his fatality wears on Charlie shortly after he recovers. After the funeral the distraught Charlie runs into the deep woods near the cemetery, where he beholds a vision of Sam, ready to participate in their everyday-at-sunset game of catch.

Five years later, Charlie has refused his scholarship and taken a job as the cemetery caretaker. He continues to meet with his brother Sam for their game of catch at sunset. Even the interest of the fair Tess (Amanda Crew), a sailing companion from his high school days, cannot revive Charlie St. Cloud from the cycle of mourning.

This derivative of “The Sixth Sense” has enough variations to avoid a lawsuit, but a person who sees dead people can’t help but remind us of the previous film. Based on a novel, the screenplay by Craig Pearce and Lewis Colick keeps the guessing going throughout the narrative. Is Charlie having visions? Does he actually see the dead? Is he in another plane himself?

The cast is engaged and uplifts some trite situations and dialogue. Ray Liotta, in a very small part as the paramedic Florio, still knows how to embody a character and make an impact with the smallest of gestures. Donal Logue, a familiar character actor, takes the cranky sea salt and injects some sensitive best friend. Amanda Crew, a dead ringer (pun intended) for Molly Ringwald, takes the girlfriend role and toughens it up as the girl who sails the world.

Efron continues to evolve as an actor. It’s apparent he observed much on the Welles set, because he handles many emotions in a realistic and forthright way. He’s confident about the performance, and is asked to handle many vague notions as to what is going on with Charlie. It is to his credit that he never seems lost with the character or the circumstances and he carries the film like a star.

The writers and director Burr Steers gets points taken away with their indecisiveness regarding what Charlie is experiencing. The notion of seeing the dead people blows with wind – sometimes he’s seen talking to himself, other times the secondary world is noted by folks on his “plane.” Whether it’s a power, a vision or a dream, the indistinct seams in the sessions with Sam distracts from the rest of the production, and the overall narrative suffers.

But there is enough, just enough, to make Charlie St. Cloud a different kind of choice for a moviegoing experience. I was especially thinking of those who I know that have suffered tragic loss. Would a film like this comfort them or remind them of mourning? The fact that it contained divergent feelings like that is exemplary.

This is also a good coming out for Zac Efron the star. Better scripts will come his way if this type of vehicle can do box office in his name, and as an early resume film to carry on his shirtless back this does “leave ‘em wanting more,” shirtlessness included.


Playback St. Louis
Alice Telios

Zac Efron has always been the saint of metrosexuality, and now he attempts to be St. Cloud. This film adaptation of The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood has an emotion-filled premise. Yet, it seems like the only reason director Burr Steers made it into a movie was so Efron’s mug could grace the cover of the novel. His rocking bod shots and Steers’ melodramatic CGI embellishments distracts an audience from what the film could have been.

Charlie St. Cloud also had a chance to find purpose. He and his little brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) live with a hardworking single mother (Kim Basinger) on the picturesque Massachusetts coast. The brothers are a perfect team, both on and off their prizewinning sailboat; however, their tight relationship turns grim when they become victims of a drunk driving accident the night of Charlie’s graduation. A paramedic (Ray Liotta) gives Charlie a miraculous second chance at life. Instead of using his Stanford sailing scholarship, he becomes the caretaker of his hometown’s cemetery where he can spend every sunset playing catch with his brother’s ghost. Five years pass and his hermit habits slowly turn him into a ghost of a person, causing people around town to dub him the town loon. After meeting a sailing beauty, Tess (Amanda Crew), Charlie gains inspiration to find meaning in his survival.

As the main protagonist, Efron takes off his acting training wheels; it is safe to say that many people will want to see Charlie St. Cloud because of him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t completely graduated from his High School Musical image. While he cracks some silly Disney-ish jokes, he tries to expose himself as an adult actor. Still, it is almost impossible to take someone seriously when they have chronic hard nipples, especially when those hard nipples end up in a wet, white shirt; Efron’s pecs attempt to steal the show. I imagine Steers poured ice cubes down his shirt at the beginning of each scene. Just because Efron is a sexy star, don’t overly take advantage of his good looks

Efron’s chest wasn’t Steers’ only awkward move. Though the film is a romantic drama, he uses some intense CGI. A few of his transitions were surprisingly good and the landscapes were gorgeous—gorgeous enough to seem fake. During a few pans of the tree-filled coastline and sunset horizon, this felt like an animated movie. There was even a fake teardrop effect that looked ridiculous. These kinds of production choices should enhance a film, not take away from it.

Charlie St. Cloud is probably better in its novel form. Its emotional pace makes it feel more suitable for a stage version than an adaptation for the big screen. At least then the audience wouldn’t be forced to stare at Efron’s muscles and strange coastal CGI arrangements. Based on this film, it looks as if Steers’ ship has sailed.

Tags: reviews: cstc
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