Charlotte Sometimes

"Very Good"

Charlotte Sometimes Review


There has never been a leading man as quiet as Michael (Michael Idemoto), the taciturn mechanic whose pregnant pauses and sidelong glances propel Charlotte Sometimes. By day he repairs German cars at his LA garage. After work, he returns to his house on a hill, turns on a lamp or two, and reads quietly.

The silence is broken only by Michael's tenant, Lori (Eugenia Yuan), who lives downstairs in the first floor of Michael's house. Lori has the disturbing habit of making loud, passionate love to her boyfriend, Justin (Matt Westmore), and then coming upstairs to snuggle with Michael and talk about this and that.

For Michael, of course, it's torture. He longs for the beautiful Lori but has absolutely no way of expressing himself. She realizes her power over him and seems to enjoy wielding it, more for her own self-esteem than to be cruel. She controls Justin with her body and controls Michael with the mere promise of her nightly visits. Though it's unclear how long this has been going on, the exhausted look in Michael's eyes makes it seem like it's been forever. Justin, however, doesn't seem to have any complaints.

Seeking some late-night relief at a local bar, Michael encounters Darcy (Jacqueline Kim), an assertive and whip-smart free spirit who sets her sights on him and pushes to get to know him much better despite his impenetrable silences. She sees him as a challenge. They drink a lot, talk a little, and Darcy quickly makes her big move, but Michael resists, insisting he'd rather get to know her first. Darcy's impatience intimidates him. She doesn't have much time, she says. She'll be leaving soon. Michael simply stares into her eyes and doesn't even ask why.

Once Darcy meets Lori and Justin, the puzzling trio becomes an even more mysterious foursome. Darcy disappears and reappears, there are tense get-togethers at a restaurant, on a tennis court, at a backyard barbecue. Justin eyes Darcy, Darcy eyes Lori, and Lori sees her perfect little world under assault. Michael just stands off to the side clutching a beer, wondering, as you, too, wonder, what exactly is going on here. It's a four-way dance of longing, mistrust, and deception that thankfully is never subverted by the clichés of tearful confessions or shocking revelations. No one says what they really want, and therefore no one knows what to give. The characters seem frozen in their own thoughts, and you become the embarrassed fifth wheel in the group, wondering if there's anything you should be saying to shake them loose. Um, does anyone need another beer?

Charlotte Sometimes is a fascinating exercise in understatement. Eric Byler is as much of a choreographer as a director. Sure, the words matter, but so does every glance, ever shadow falling across a face, every little bit of body language. Interestingly, the fact that all the characters are Asian is never mentioned. They just are, and that's that. It's a rarity in American films and something that's refreshing to see.

DVD extras include two commentaries -- one from half the cast, the other from the other half of the cast, both with Byler -- plus a Q&A session with Roger Ebert and an outtakes/extras featurette.

Charlotte's bedtime.



Charlotte Sometimes

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Monday 11th March 2002

Distributed by: Visionbox Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Darcy / Charlotte, as Lori, Michael Aki as Michael, as Justin, Shizuko Hoshi as Aunt, Kimberly-Rose Wolter as Annie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.