Charlie St. Cloud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Charlie St. Cloud
Charlie st cloud poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBurr Steers
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onThe Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud
by Ben Sherwood
Music byRolfe Kent
CinematographyEnrique Chediak
Edited byPadraic McKinley
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 30, 2010 (2010-07-30)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$44 million[1]
Box office$48.2 million[2]

Charlie St. Cloud is a 2010 American drama film based on Ben Sherwood's novel The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, published in 2004 by Bantam Books. The film is directed by Burr Steers and stars Zac Efron and Amanda Crew. The story is of Charlie St. Cloud's choice between keeping a promise he made to his younger brother, who died in a tragic car accident, or going after the girl he loves. In some markets the film used the complete title of the book.

After winning the rights to adapt the book into film, Universal Pictures had James Schamus and Lewis Colick write drafts for the script, with Craig Pearce writing the final script, and director Steers helping to polish it for completion. Produced by Relativity Media and Marc Platt Productions, the film's production began in Upstate New York, and nearby British Columbia. Filming lasted from July to late October 2009, with much of it occurring in Upstate New York's forest and Gibsons' coastal pier.

Charlie St. Cloud was theatrically released in the United States on July 30, 2010 and was a critical and commercial failure. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, with many criticizing the script's tonal confliction and Efron's performance, and grossed just $48 million worldwide against a production budget of $44 million (not including advertisement and distribution costs).


Charlie St. Cloud wins a boating race on his sailboat, the Splendid Splinter, with his younger brother Sam, receiving a sailing scholarship to Stanford University. He graduates from Winslow High School and after graduation, Charlie promises Sam they will practice baseball every day until he leaves for Stanford. That night Charlie wants to go to a graduation party with his friends, but his mother makes him babysit Sam.

As Sam watches television, Charlie tries sneaking out to the party, but is caught by Sam, who asks for a ride to his friend Tommy's house. They have a car accident and, during an out-of-body experience, Charlie hugs a badly wounded Sam, reassuring him that everything will be fine.

Sam asks Charlie to promise to never leave him alone, so they will always be together. As he does, paramedic Florio Ferrente revives Charlie; Sam has died in his arms. At the funeral, Charlie runs off, unable to put Sam's baseball glove in the grave. Running through the woods, Charlie finds Sam's spirit and discovers that they can interact. Charlie fulfills Sam's dying wish by practicing baseball with him every day at sunset.

Five years later, Charlie, who gave up his scholarship, is a caretaker at Waterside Cemetery. There, he speaks with Sully, an old friend who died in the Marines. During a trip into town, Charlie visits the boat docks and meets Tess Carroll, a sailor planning to sail solo around the world. The following day, Charlie runs into Florio, who is dying of cancer, he asks Charlie if he knows why he was saved.

Charlie returns to the cemetery and finds Tess injured, tending her father's grave. He takes her to his home to patch her up and they develop a relationship. Sam begins feeling that he is being erased from existence when Charlie arrives late because Charlie is forgetting him. Tess follows Charlie and he explains to her that the more he is in her world, the less he is in Sam's.

Charlie hears that Tess went missing while sailing through a storm a few days earlier; Charlie has been seeing her just like he can Sam. Florio's wife Carla tells Charlie that Florio died the previous night, giving him his St. Christopher. He remembers Tess putting a note on the door which says "come find me" with a drawing of a boat on the back. He realizes that she is alive and that he must find her.

Along with his friend Alistair and Tess's coach Tink, Charlie takes a boat to find her. The following sunset, Charlie misses his game with Sam. As Charlie professes his love for his departed sibling, Sam tells Charlie that he loves him back and moves on from the living world. He appears to Charlie as a shooting star in the sky to reveal Tess' location. They find Tess' wrecked boat and her lying on the rocks. Charlie uses his body heat to keep Tess warm until the Coast Guard arrives.

Alistair tells Charlie that he had saved her from hypothermia. Later, Charlie buys an old sail boat, asking her to take a ride with him. However, Tess is afraid to, as she has had vivid dreams about them together. He tells Tess that her dreams are memories, reciting a quote from her father's funeral that they spoke about in her dreams. Charlie resigns and goes into the forest to say farewell to Sam, telling him they will always be brothers; although he is can't see him, Sam is there and reveals that he is at peace. Sometime in the near future, Charlie and Tess set off to sail around the world.



A bidding war for the film rights to the book by author Ben Sherwood broke out in April and May 2003, before the book was published.[3] Three studios competed for the rights.[3] Universal Studios and Marc Platt (Universal's president of production) won the right to make the book into a film, paying a reported $500,000 to $1 million for the rights (with that figure rising above $1 million if the film is made).[3] Ben Sherwood was guaranteed an executive producer credit on the film, and Universal Studios executive producer Donna Langley was assigned to the picture.[3] Joe Johnston was initially chosen to direct.[4]

Drafts for the script were written by James Schamus and Lewis Colick,[5][6] but the final script was written by Craig Pearce.[5][7] By March 2009, Johnston had been replaced as director by Burr Steers, and Platt had named himself as producer.[5][7] Steers helped polish the script.[7] The first lead performer cast in the film was Zac Efron, who turned down the lead role in Paramount Pictures' remake of Footloose to star in this film.[5][8][9] Pre-production had commenced by March 2009, with filming set to begin in July 2009.[5]

Training with Efron began in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2009,[10] and started production in Upstate New York July 2009 to October 5.[11] Amanda Crew joined the film as Tess Carroll in July 2009,[12] and was shooting her scenes the following September.[13] Quite a few scenes in the film were shot in Gibsons, British Columbia, including a scene in the famous 'Beachcombers' restaurant.[14] Some of the film was also filmed at a Deep Cove school, Seycove Secondary School, in North Vancouver, B. C. Actress Kim Basinger agreed to play Louise St. Cloud (later Claire) in mid-August 2009.[7][15] Teen actor Chris Massoglia was signed in October 2009 to play a teenaged Sam St. Cloud, but never made it into the final film.[16][17][18]

Efron wrapped his scenes in late October 2009.[19]

Rolfe Kent wrote the score, with Tony Blondal orchestrating. It was recorded at Skywalker Sound, Marin County, California.


This is a list of music featured in the film but will not be included in the soundtrack


Box office[edit]

Charlie St. Cloud was released on July 30, 2010 and made $12.4 million in its opening weekend, grossing $31.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $17 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $48.2 million, against a production budget of $44 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 28% approval rating based on 125 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Zac Efron gives it his all, but Charlie St. Cloud is too shallow and cloying to offer much more than eye candy for his fans."[20] On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 37 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

A.O. Scott of The New York Times commended Efron for having "a pleasant enough blend of geniality and melancholy" in the title role and cinematographer Enrique Chediak for giving the scenery a "convincingly romantic look and mood", but found the film overall conflicted with being a supernatural romantic drama that plays like a horror movie in certain places, concluding that "you are supposed to be transported beyond skepticism on a wave of pure, tacky feeling. Instead, in this case, you drown in sentimental, ghoulish nonsense."[23] Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "C–" grade, criticizing Efron's pretty boy facials for not displaying the character's emotional despair but "a fake-profound, lost-idol tranquility."[24] The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote that: "Like a high-jumper cracking the bar in two with his forehead, former teen star Zac Efron fails to make it into the Mature Performer league in this unendurable romantic drama, filmed in the buttery late-summer glow I associate with movies such as Message in a Bottle and The Notebook."[25] Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote that Efron lacked suitable material to make his character interesting and that Steers' direction "cares not for pacing [or] depth or the power of real emotion", saying "the movie is very much dead already. It has no pulse, no apparent breath, and a curious odor seems to waft from the screen not long after Charlie and Sam win a race together in the opening scene."[26] Mark Jenkins of NPR felt the film lacked "genuine emotion" to backup its concept and that Efron was miscast in the title character role, concluding that, "[U]nlike The Lovely Bones, this film doesn't attempt to show the afterlife as experienced by those who die too young. But then, who needs Heaven when you live in a picturesque sailing village in Microsoftland? Charlie St. Cloud may be a tale of loss, but its characters seem to have everything they could possibly want."[27]


Efron was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie Star - Male and an MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance for his work in the film, but they both went to Robert Pattinson for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.[28][29] Tahan was nominated for Best Performance by a Younger Actor at the 37th Saturn Awards, but lost the award to Chloë Grace Moretz for Let Me In.[30]


  1. ^ Fritz, Ben (July 29, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Schmucks,' cats, dogs and Zac Efron will all open behind 'Inception'". Los Angeles Times. Nant Capital. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Charlie St. Cloud (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Fleming, Michael (May 5, 2003). "U, Platt Triumph in Death Bid". Daily Variety.
  4. ^ Fleming, Michael (July 15, 2008). "Platt Wanted at Universal". Daily Variety.
  5. ^ a b c d e Fleming, Michael (March 25, 2009). "Face in the Cloud". Daily Variety.
  6. ^ Fleming, Michael; Siegel, Tatiana (April 21, 2009). "Bale Answers the Bell". Daily Variety.
  7. ^ a b c d Fleming, Michael (August 13, 2009). "Basinger Circles St. Cloud". Daily Variety.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael; Siegel, Tatiana (May 20, 2009). "Footloose Finds Star". Daily Variety.
  9. ^ Zwecker, Bill (March 26, 2009). "Scent of a Twilight Star". Chicago Sun-Times.
  10. ^ "Caught in the Act!". People. Gannett. July 21, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  11. ^ Barnes, Brooks (October 5, 2009). "A High School Star Gives Ross a Boost". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  12. ^ "Actress Sees St. Cloud Formation". The Hollywood Reporter. July 28, 2009.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (September 13, 2009). "Crew, Palicki to Star in Girl". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  14. ^ "More Zac Efron at "Flynn's Reach" (Molly's Reach) in Gibsons". Langley Times. October 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  15. ^ Fleming, Michael (August 12, 2009). "Actress to Play Thesp's Mother in Burr Steers Drama". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 21, 2009). "Players". Daily Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  17. ^ As of October 25, 2009, the Internet Movie Database listed child actor Charlie Tahan playing the role of Sam. See: Charlie St. Cloud at IMDb. Accessed 2009-10-25.
  18. ^ Memberto, Brad (October 30, 2009). "Cirque du Freak: Not Your Father's Vampires". Santa Ynez Valley News. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  19. ^ "Couples Watch: Brody & Jayde, Justin & Jessica". People. Gannett. October 26, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  20. ^ "Charlie St. Cloud (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on January 4, 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  21. ^ "Charlie St. Cloud Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  23. ^ Scott, A.O. (July 29, 2010). "Playing With Phantoms in the Northwest Woods". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on July 25, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  24. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (July 28, 2010). "Charlie St. Cloud". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  25. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (October 7, 2010). "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud - review". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020. 1/5 stars
  26. ^ Morris, Wesley (July 30, 2010). "Charlie St. Cloud movie review". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020. 1.5/4 stars
  27. ^ Jenkins, Mark (July 29, 2010). "Seafaring 'Charlie St. Cloud' Keeps To The Shallows". NPR. Archived from the original on July 25, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  28. ^ Stransky, Tanner (August 9, 2010). "2010 Teen Choice Awards winners announced". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  29. ^ Rawden, Mack (June 5, 2011). "2011 MTV Movie Award Winners: Complete Results". Cinema Blend. Archived from the original on July 17, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  30. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 24, 2011). "Inception Wins Big at the 2011 Saturn Awards". Collider. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.

External links[edit]