Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Overlooked Movies: The Truth about Charlie

Pretend you're a Hollywood movie producer wondering what to do next.  You start thinking about what a wonderful movie Charade was, and it comes to you: Remake!  

Instead of Audrey Hepburn, you can get Thandie Newton!  And instead of Cary Grant you can get . . . Mark Wahlberg!  What could possibly go wrong?  

The answer to that rhetorical question is in the previous sentences.

Not that Thandie Newton is bad.  I thought she'd have a better career than she's had, in fact, although she's no Audrey Hepburn.  But putting Mark Wahlberg in Cary Grant's part?  No way that was going to work.  The supporting players aren't all that great, either, although they're okay.

The plot of the movie is essentially the same as that of Charade, so if you've seen that one, you know what's going to happen.  Jonathan Demme directed, and he put in a few little touches, like having Charles Aznavour sing a number, but they don't help.  Peter Stone, who wrote the screenplay for Charade, wouldn't let his name be used in the credits.

Remakes aren't necessarily bad.  They had to do The Maltese Falcon three times to get it right.  In this case, however, stick to the original.  You can't go wrong there.

7 comments:

Cap'n Bob said...

I couldn't make it through the trailer you ran. Will directors and film editors ever hold a shot for more than half a second again? They give me headaches.

Dan said...

Not to mention the outstanding supporting cast that backed up Grant & Hepburn in CHARADE.

By the way, the ending of CHARLIE was lifted from Truffaut's THE BRIDE WORE BLACK.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Walter Matthau. George Kennedy. James Coburn. Ned Glass.

No chance in Hell I would sit through this one.

Mark Wahlberg? Seriously?

Bud said...

Cap;n Bob nails it yet again!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I still can't get over Mark (TED) Wahlberg as Cary Grant.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Wahlberg wasn't originally set to star. He was hired at the last moment after the original lead dropped out.
Best thing about the movie is the soundtrack.

Todd Mason said...

Newton and, say, George Clooney, with a non-butchered script, might've worked. Having sat through this w/o having yet seen more than a fee minutes of CHARADE, it was tolerable. I don't remember Wahlberg's performance at all.