The Truth About Charlie (2002)
Regina meets charming Joshua while vacationing in Martinique, as she contemplates ending her whirlwind marriage to enigmatic Charlie. Upon her return to Paris, she finds that both her apartment and her bank account have been emptied, and her husband has been murdered. The more Reggie learns, the more she realizes the scope of the puzzle which she must solve to protect herself from ever-increasing danger.
There are some films that just shouldn't be re-made. Ben-Hur springs to mind, along with Metropolis, and probably the best of Bogie (with or without Bacall). This was another.I *think* Demme was trying to give Charade a new "voice", but he fails almost immediately by showing us Charles Lampert's demise; when in the original it was the fact that we DON'T know what happened to him that adds to the whole bewilderment for Regina - not to mention the loony (though menacing) baddies, and the bizarre ways they were bumped off.It's also arguable that the original wasn't worth repeating anyway since, at best, it was beautifully done piece of fluff with 3 stars - Hepburn, Grant and Paris - doing what they were known for and did best. This version is much darker, and so misses out on the stylish, chocolate-box feel of the original. Even Paris manages to look dismal.All of which is a great pity because Thandie Newton is a good actress, and was probably at her most gorgeous at this time. And with a lighter touch, Mark Wahlberg might have been given the chance to be the proper leading man he shows glimpses of.Lastly: No kid - who was *pivotal* (if somewhat annoying) in the original. The whole market scene was completely wasted. And boy, did I miss Henry Mancini.So, all in all: A disappointment - even though I'd read a few of the comments before I watched it, so I wasn't expecting much.Unfortunately, they were right.
A young woman in Paris is about to divorce her husband when she discovers he's been killed and all their money is gone. She meets a mysterious man, who tells her that the money was really his, and he wants it back, seemingly convinced that she's hiding the cash. Meanwhile, more people end up dead, or worse.......get to wear berets....Heaven knows what Demme was thinking when he made this, maybe he was having a bet with Ted or something, because, as you would expect, it's not the best film in the world.Sometimes it's verging on parody, and there are points when you think Wahlberg will break the fourth wall and wink at the audience, as his and Newtons acting is pretty pantomime.But it looks wonderful to look at, and the editing and the filming style is straight from the French New Wave, at least it has that going for it.As a remake, it sucks. The narrative is pretty dopey, and makes no sense to the story.And the film makes the biggest plot hole these types of mysteries do, have a being star with an 'and' before their name, you can guarantee that they are the villain.Lovely to look at, painful to watch.
Almost every comment about this movie goes into great detail in how disjointed and awful this remake is and I wholeheartedly agree with all the condemnation. What is amazing to me is that Roger Ebert's review states that while the original "Charade" has been voted the 168th best film ever he thinks this catastrophic abomination is justified because Thandie Newton photographs well. The attempts to bring bits of French films into the remake are an insult as all the original film fit the pattern of a standard American thriller, the only connection to France being the location. Nearly all of the humor of Cary Grant, like his line about leaving a bad guy hanging around American Express, almost a precursor to some of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry or Swartaneggar's wise cracks were completely omitted. This film should not only have gotten a thumbs down but should have been Hanniblized.
This was strange. I had no idea what this film was about as it was a free loan and I just put in the machine, not even reading the back of the box. Well, obviously it didn't take long to figure out this was a re-make of the famous 1963 film "Charade."It's not really bad on it's own but if you've watched and admired Charade a half dozen times as I have, this film isn't even close measuring up. Mark Wahlberg is no Cary Grant; Thandie Newton is no Audry Hepburn and Tim Robbins in no Walter Matthau.Why settle for second-rate after having first-rate? I mean, why even bother? It's not like you are updating some old black-and-white movie to accommodate today's crowd which won't look at B&W. The original still looks good (on the Criterion DVD).