A film with a very simple plot, Charlie St Cloud is an exploration of the title character's relationship with his dead brother, a ghost with whom he plays baseball on a regular basis. Charlie St Cloud can see other ghosts too, but he doesn't play baseball with them. That would be ridiculous. This isn't Sixth Sense meets the World Series. It's a serious drama. About a man's love of playing baseball with his dead kid brother.
Almost worth watching just for the host of unintentionally hilarious moments, your tolerance for this film will depend on your tolerance of three things. The first of these things, obviously, is 'Ghost Whisperer' style shenannigans where Zac Efron talks to ghosts. The second is Zac Efron's face - the camera loves him, baby. The third is Zac Efron's acting.
Here's he's struggling with yet another project (cf. Me And Orson Welles) where he's mostly just expected to look, like, totally dreamy. When he does get to bust out some actual emoting, he's not bad, but unfortunately the film is, so rather than going away thinking Zac Efron is a potentially decent actor, we leave wondering why he's putting his talents to use in the service of 'Ghost Whisperer' style shenanigans about baseball-playing ghosts.
In a nutshell: As substantial and authentic a portion of Italy as a Cornetto. If you regularly check your horoscope in a weekly magazine and make a note (in your pink diary with the heart-shaped lock) of the special day that you are due to meet a tall dark handsome stranger, this is your film.
By Catherine Bray