CHARLY

Love Story with a Mormon Message

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: October 01, 2002

Starring: Heather Beers, Jeremy Elliott
and Adam Johnson

Genre: Mormon Romance

Audience: Older children to adults

Rating: PG for thematic elements

Runtime: 103 minutes

Distributor: Excel Entertainment Group

Director: Adam Thomas Anderegg

Executive Producer: Herbert Christensen

Producer: Micah W. Merrill and Lance C.
Williams

Writer: Janine Whetten Gilbert

Address Comments To:

Jeff Simpson, President
Excel Entertainment Group
Phone: (801) 358-7020

Content:

(Ro, FRFR, BB, C, V, A, M) Romantic worldview with strong false religious (Mormon) proselytizing resulting in conversion to Mormonism and strong moral messages with images and references to Jesus Christ; no foul language; alcohol use discussed by non-Mormon grandmother; and, young woman lies constantly and woman dying of cancer.


Summary:

CHARLY is a love story with a Mormon message about a young man who falls in love with a vivacious girl from New York and converts her to Mormonism. As a love story, the movie is refreshing, but the heretical Mormon message is the major problem of the movie.


Review:

CHARLY is a love story with a message, produced by a friend of MOVIEGUIDE®. The good news is that it’s a love story without the usual obsession with pre-marital sex, and the not so good news is that it’s a heavy-handed promotional film for Mormonism.
The movie opens with Sam talking about the love of his life, Charly. It cuts to young Sam playing basketball with his father. He’s told he has to pick this girl up at the airport, and he complains that his father is always trying to fix him up, this time with the boss’ daughter.
When he does pick up Charly, or Charlene, he finds a very sexy, dynamic girl from New York. She quickly takes control of his life. She’s running away from a relationship in New York.
Charly finds Sam amusing for his stick-in-the-mud Mormon beliefs. He believes in marriage, family and apple pie. Even so, she’s intrigued, and soon she’s reading the Book of Mormon. She’s joyously converted, and then Sam finds out that Charly is not a virgin. He says he doesn’t want "used merchandise," and she heads back to New York.
Sam runs after her, they make up and get married. They have a little boy, and soon discover that Charly has cancer and is about to die. Sam fears that God is not hearing his prayers.
Based on a best selling book, CHARLY has some strong emotional moments. Unfortunately, it tries to tell several stories, any one of which could have made a feature film. First, it tries to tell about leading Charly to Mormonism. Then, it tells the story of Sam and Charly getting married. Finally, it ends with the story of the battle with cancer. A clearly articulated premise would have solved these plot problems and united the movie into a seamless whole.
As a love story, the movie is refreshing. Charly recognizes that Sam wants more than a one-night stand. There is a discovery of self-esteem, an act of forgiveness and repentance. Both parties are humbled, and both parties learn what real love is.
As a Mormon propaganda film, the movie has a very light touch. There are pictures of Jesus, positive references to God, and the only theological sticking point for those who view Mormonism as a cult is the reference to eternal families. Evidently, Mormons believe that if a husband prays to bless his wife, she will join him after death on another planet, where the husband will become the god of that planet. (Of course, if the husband doesn't bless his wife, she is in trouble.) In contrast, Jesus tells the world in the New Testament that, resurrected men and women in heaven will be like the angels, neither marrying nor being given in marriage, but living joyously in eternity with Jesus, God and His Holy Spirit, and with all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25 and Luke 20:35).
The lightness of the Mormon message is the major problem of the movie. After all, it is a conversion movie to a cultic, heretical, false religion.
The movie was screened at UCLA, and the students, who were clearly not Christians, were referring to it as a Christian movie. They didn’t know the difference.
Underneath the surface of the movie, there is a lot of works-based morality and legalism. Of course, Jesus died on the cross to set us free from the works of religion and draw us into a eternal, personal relationship with him.
Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution for a movie that is otherwise devoid of sex, violence, nudity, and profanity.


In Brief:

CHARLY is a love story with a message. The movie opens with Sam talking about the love of his life, Charly. When he first meets Charly, or Charlene, he finds a very sexy, dynamic girl from New York. She quickly takes control of his life. Charly finds Sam amusing for his stick-in-the-mud Mormon beliefs. He believes in marriage, family and apple pie. Even so, she’s intrigued, and soon she’s reading the Book of Mormon. She’s joyously converted, and then Sam finds out that Charly is not a virgin. He says he doesn’t want "used merchandise," and she heads back to New York. Sam runs after her, they make up and get married. They have a little boy, and soon discover that Charly has cancer and is about to die. Sam fears that God is not hearing his prayers.
Based on a best selling book, CHARLY has some strong emotional moments. Unfortunately, it tries to tell several stories, any one of which could have made a movie. As a love story, the movie is refreshing, but the Mormon message is the major problem of the movie. After all, it is a conversion movie to a false religion