Movie reviews: Hollywood and Indie, specializing in independent comedies, dramas, thrillers and romance.
Friday, February 3, 2023
Who Invited Charlie?: Movie Review
Lightweight and not too immature.
Who Invited Charlie? Is a lightweight comedy balancing the immaturity of Adam Pally’s Charlie and the drama of the early days of the pandemic in New York. It’s set in March 2020 and you have every type of reaction on display. Like the more successfully COVID-influenced movies, the pandemic certainly has a significant impact on the characters, but the plot can survive without it.
Directed by: Xavier Manrique
Screenplay by: Nicholas Schutt
Starring: Adam Pally, Reid Scott
It’s a lot like You, Me and Dupree but flipped in reverse. The strait-laced couple is Phil (Reid Scott) and Rosie (Jordana Brewster). It’s not so much that they’re strait-laced but stuck in an awful marriage that the pandemic is most likely going to blow-up for good. Phil is a finance bro; his job entails making a lot of money, screwing over other people out of their money, and yelling a lot, especially about how much money he makes. And sleeping with girls who aren’t his wife. Rosie hates him for placing money above all else in life including their lonely teenage son, but she prefers yelling at him instead of divorcing him. She also likes reminding him of their privilege that they’re the lucky ones who can work from home and escape to the Hamptons. She’s right, but my issue is that line was only written in so the film can absolve itself of the guilt that it centers on characters who can take the easy way out of the pandemic. Audiences really don’t care for that type of pandering.
Enter the pandemic hysteria of March 2020 with the stockpiling of toilet paper, bare shelves in the grocery stores and complete confusion surrounding masks and the fast-rising number of COVID cases in New York City. Phil and Rosie and son Max are escaping the city for their beach house in the Hamptons. And not far behind is Charlie (Adam Pally), Phil’s old college buddy and former finance bro who got screwed over years ago, who shows up at Phil’s window in the middle of the night. He decided the pandemic was the perfect time to cash in on the bribe of knowledge of Phil’s affairs.
Charlie is the immature perpetual man-child. A character that has arguably been perfected by Jack Black in decades past with Adam Pally taking over his reign. Charlie is incapable of staying on his side of the house, following basic rules like going no closer than 3 ft to total strangers and not giving drugs to their son Max.
Charlie is funny but his friendship with Max is the best part of the movie. Instead of Dupree driving the married couple apart, this is Charlie reconnecting the married couple by helping their son make a new friend, learn how to talk to girls and get out of his shell.
The movie slows down a lot after all the relationship dynamics get settled, and the expected drama of the adults finally facing their issues, and then the comedy doesn’t feel as fresh. Those types of issues are expected for such a mainstream comedy like Who Invited Charlie? But it has its moments, is fun for awhile and the pandemic is reasonably incorporated rather than being annoying – if you can stand rich people.
Available to rent on Vudu, Amazon, Redbox and iTunes.
Available to rent on iTunes and YouTube.
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