What You Need To Know:
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III will appeal primarily to fans of Sheen and Coppola’s quirky brand of filmmaking. The movie’s fun in small doses, but its slapdash blend of fantasy and reality doesn’t hold together enough to make a strong impression. Even so, Sheen is surprisingly charming in the title role. Although his character changes a bit at the end toward the better, the overall worldview is Romantic. There’s also abundant foul language, explicit nudity and excessive alcohol use.
(RoRo, B, C, LLL, V, NN, AA, D, MM) Strong Romantic worldview offset slightly by light moral, redemptive elements where title character re-assesses his life and tries to change for the better in some ways; more than 100 obscenities and profanities, including “f” words; sporadic comic violence includes a scene where the protagonist fantasizes he’s a cowboy and is being chased by attractive female “Indians” (actually blondes) wearing bikinis, who shoot him with an arrow, protagonist also imagines a brief fight with a kidnapper to save his girlfriend and imagines a scenario where he has to jump out of a car just before it explodes, and protagonist accidentally rolls a car backwards down a hill and into a backyard swimming pool, hurting no one; no depicted sex but implied sex in scene where protagonist lies in bathtub bubbles with a woman as they talk, and man fantasizes about nude women; upper female nudity in several scenes, as protagonist fantasizes about naked women; strong alcohol use to excess; frequent smoking; and, protagonist has a strong bad attitude, including selfishness, toward others but changes.
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III is a whimsical, surreal comedy about a hard-living movie star forced to assess his bizarre life while facing a lockdown in a hospital. It has a very strong Romantic worldview offset slightly by moral, redemptive undertones as the title character assesses his life and attempts to change for the better in some ways.
The story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though it appears it wasn’t meant to make sense. For example, writer-director Roman Coppola (Oscar-nominated for co-writing the MOONRISE KINGDOM screenplay with Wes Anderson) over-indulges wacky fantasy elements at the expense of a coherent storyline.
The movie stars Charlie Sheen as Charles Swan III, a top record-album cover designer. Charles is miserable that his girlfriend, Ivana, just left him. This situation is starting to affect his creativity. After he crashes a luxury car into a backyard swimming pool, Charles is checked into a mental hospital.
In the mental hospital, Charles seeks to gain control of his oddball subconscious thoughts and win his girlfriend back. While there, his best friend Kirby Star, a pop music singer waiting for a new album cover from Swan, encourages Charles to break out of his rut to win her back. Along the way, he receives life advice from his business manager, Saul (Bill Murray), who appears frequently in his daydreams. In one scene, Saul appears dressed like John Wayne from THE SEARCHERS as women clad in skimpy American Indian outfits attack Charles.
The scenario resolves at a large, surreal party for Charles where he’s forced to be comically confronted by the many women he has hurt in the past. Will Charles reach peace and make up with his girlfriend?
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III will appeal primarily to fans of Sheen and of the director’s quirky brand of filmmaking, but will likely not entice average moviegoers to make it their night at the movies. Its slapdash blend of fantasy and reality doesn’t hold together enough to make a strong impression. Sheen is surprisingly charming in the role, however, singing and dancing his way through fantasy scenes.
Although the title character changes a bit at the end toward the better, the overall worldview is a Romantic one. There’s also abundant foul language, explicit nudity and excessive alcohol use.