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WHO INVITED CHARLIE?

What You Need To Know:

WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is about a financially struggling, pot-smoking Charlie, who shows up at Phil’s house in the Hamptons during the COVID lockdowns. Phil shelters Charlie because Charlie has some dirt on him. Charlie is the opposite of his college roommate, Phil, who is a successful hedge fund manager, has a beautiful wife and a sweet boy, and is hot-tempered and abrasive. In the end, Charlie helps Phil see the best thing he has in life is not his career but his wife and son.

WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is certainly an entertaining movie with many laughs, but it has some very serious flaws. The biggest being Phil and his wife interact like two stereotypes. Many parts of the movie have an extensive improv. However, the relationship between Max and Charlie is dynamic and heartfelt. Overall, WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is an entertaining comedy, but CAUTION IS ADVISED for children as there are heavy amounts of drinking, pot-smoking, cursing, an unfit role model glorified, and implied adultery as well as implied promiscuity between a married couple. So, WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is excessive.

Content:

(BB, C, LLL, V, SS, NN, AA, DDD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Dominant moral worldview shows a dysfunction man is good at heart, as he helps a broken family to understand what a beautiful thing they have, a family, and reminds them of the important of loving each other, spending quality time together, and sharing meals, plus Charlie carries out the biblical principles of love and compassion, despite the fact his own life has not unfolded as he desired, and a Christian moment where the husband and father prays a genuine, heartfelt prayer at dinner, alluding to the fact his family has a Christian background

Foul Language:
At least, 94 obscenities (including many “f” words), five Jesus profanities, four GD profanities, 35 light profanities, and teenager gets sick and accidentally vomits on his father’s shirt

Violence:
Light action violence where man gets into a fist fight with a bunch of men dressed like Santa Claus at a Santa run and gets a bloody nose

Sex:
A brief flash of a drawing of a naked woman engaged in oral sex when a teenage boy looks up the act on the internet, but the boy quickly closes his iPad, plus there’s light kissing between husband and wife, but there’s implied adultery with a husband having a girlfriend behind his wife’s back when the movie opens, but it’s later revealed that the wife knew about the affair and slept with her husband’s rival in revenge, but [SPOILER] the couple starts to reconcile at the end of the movie

Nudity:
Upper female nudity in brief flash of a sex drawing, and there’s some brief upper male nudity of man with his shirt off

Alcohol Use:
Family members drink a lot of alcohol and wine during quarantine, and their house guest is often hungover on Bloody Marys during quarantine

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No tobacco smoking, but house guest smokes a lot of marijuana during quarantine and also allows a 16-year-old teenager to smoke marijuana under his watch in one scene but gets chastised for it; and, Miscellaneous Immortality: Strong miscellaneous immorality where title character is a dysfunctional role model who drinks, smokes marijuana and is glorified as one to be admired and one to feel sympathy for, because he lost his wife.

More Detail:

WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is an enjoyable but somewhat predictable indie comedy about Charlie, a disheveled, financially unstable, Bloody-Mary drinking guy who goes to quarantine with his old college roommate and his family in the Hamptons during the COVID pandemic. The husband and wife, Phil and Rosie, feel more like stereotypes than grounded characters grounded in reality. Charlie and Max, Phil and Rosie’s son in the movie, are quite the opposite. In fact, an entire movie centered on Charlie and Max night be well worth a watch alone. Their performances are compelling, dynamic and so grounded you feel as if you are watching two people you’ve known your entire life.

The movie opens during a big Santa run in New York City where old time friends Charlie and Phil run into each other. They decide to catch up and have a beer when they learn their lives have gone in completely different directions. Phil is a successful hedge fund manager with a beautiful wife and son, but he’s also up-tight, short-tempered and hardly has any time to spare for a catch up with his old college roommate. Charlie’s life has gone in a completely different direction. While we aren’t certain what Charlie does for a living, it’s clear he has very little money nor the ability to afford nice clothes. Phil casually tells Charlie if he ever needs anything, he can call him, especially since he just saved him from a bunch of people dressed as Santa Clause who were about to beat him up after he shouted some heated words in their direction.

Well, ironically enough, shortly after their catch-up, the COVID virus hits in 2020, and the world begins to freak out. However, some people have it a little easier than others, like Phil and his wife, Rosie, and their teenage son, Max. When they hear the news of the Covid outbreak, they decide to retreat to their second home in the Hamptons to quarantine.

As they settle into their massive home in the Hamptons, it becomes apparent this well to do family doesn’t have it all. Phil has no patience for his sensitive son, Max. He and Rosie are always bickering. So, when Charlie shows up at their home in the middle of the night, nobody knows how to act around him. Rosie is very nervous about the virus and doesn’t even want to let Charlie into the house, but Phil says he promised the guy he could call on him if he ever needed some help, and the poor guy has nowhere to stay. Also, unknown to Rosie, Charlie has some dirt on Phil. Begrudgingly, Rosie says Charlie can stay, but she draws an imaginary line in the middle of the house that he’s not supposed to cross in case he has COVID. Charlie says okay, although he’s a terrible rule follower.

As the story progresses, Rosie lightens up around Charlie because she can see he’s clearly harmless. In fact, she begins to really enjoy hanging out with him. She and Charlie start to hang out, drinking white wine, chatting, and sharing stories, something her career-obsessed husband has not done with her in years. However, nobody bonds more with Charlie than Max, Rosie and Phil’s son, who is so sheltered and quiet, Charlie doesn’t even know if he can communicate. At first, Max is horrified by this loud, marijuana smoking man walking around their house in a belly-showing shirt and a bathrobe most days. Charlie starts to hang out with Max, eager to get to know him, something which, once again, his own father has never done.

Slowly, Max begins to open up to Charlie. He seeks his advice on how to ask a girl out on social media, plays guitar with him, smokes marijuana with Charlie for the first time, frolics around outside, and takes Phil’s car on an epic driving adventure, along the sand by the ocean. The two have become best friends, until Charlie accidently slips a forbidden piece of information – Phil has cheated on his mom and has a girlfriend in the city. Yikes!

Max explodes in anger. He yells at his dad. Then, when his mom has no reaction about her husband cheating on her, he yells at her too. Max storms away. As he does, Rosie reveals to Phil that she knew all along he was cheating on her, and it made her so angry, she went behind his back and cheated on him too. Clearly, this marriage has not been doing well.

Phil is enraged with Charlie, but before he has a moment to decide what to do with him, it has become apparent Max has disappeared! The three adults go on a chase to find Max. IN THE END, they discover that he went back to the city to go to a party to see the girl he liked, but realized he didn’t want to be at a party, he only wanted to be with his family. The trip eventually finds Max in the park. Rosie and Phil forgive each other, and Phil forgives Charlie for revealing this information. In fact, he thanks Charlie for saving his family and helping him realize the true meaning of life, people, not work.

WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is certainly an entertaining movie with many laughs, but it has some serious flaws. The biggest flaw is the relationship between Phil and his wife, Rosie. The scenes between these two actors often feel a bit unnatural and forced. Watching them interact feels more like two stereotypes as opposed to two compelling characters. Even some of their lines feel a bit unnatural. With that said, many parts of the movie have an extensive amount of improv. However, with what Rosie and Phil failed to bring to the table, since watching them feels like watching two actors play actors, the scenes with Charlie and their son, Max, have done the opposite. Thus, the relationship between Max and Charlie is wonderfully dynamic and heartfelt. In fact, an entire movie between Adam Pally as Charlie and Peter Dager as Max would be a worthy watch.

Overall, WHO INVITED CHARLIE? is an entertaining comedy, but CAUTION IS ADVISED for children as there are heavy amounts of drinking, smoking, cursing, an unfit role model glorified, and implied adultery as well as implied promiscuity between a married couple.

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