Zac Efron may have made his mark as a “High School Musical” heartthrob, but it looks like he’s going for something a bit more mature with his latest film.
Efron plays the titular character in “Charlie St. Cloud,” based on Ben Sherwood’s novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.” Charlie is a clean-cut college kid whose world is shaken by tragedy when his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan) is killed in a car accident. Charlie quickly earns a reputation as a crazy person, a bit of a recluse who sees visions of Sam. He’s so overwhelmed with grief that he even takes a job at the cemetery where Sam is buried.
But when Charlie meets Tess (Amanda Crew), he has a desire to move on with his life for the first time since Sam’s death. Tess has dreams of traveling the world, but Charlie can’t tear himself away from the place where his brother died. He’s forced to choose between remaining completely devoted to Sam’s memory and moving on with his own life.
This movie looks like it has potential, but it also looks like it could suffer from an overdose of sappiness. I hope it turns out to be more of a touching drama than a Hallmark movie of the week, but it’s hard to tell from the trailer. At least it is a step up from “High School Musical” and should give Efron an opportunity to prove whether or not he has range.
“Charlie St. Cloud” opens Oct. 15. Check out the trailer below.
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