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Charlie St. Cloud

First slide

After losing his younger brother (Charlie Tahan) in a car accident for which he was indirectly responsible, a gifted sailboat racer (Zac Efron), racked by guilt and grief, becomes the caretaker of the cemetery where his sibling rests, on the edge of which, briefly each evening, he is mysteriously able to see and communicate with the lad. But his reclusiveness is challenged when a high school classmate and fellow sailor (Amanda Crew) returns to town and captures his heart. Though unusually spiritual and even explicitly religious, director Burr Steers' melancholy parable, adapted from Ben Sherwood's best-selling 2004 novel, "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud," never quite jells, despite Efron's sensitive portrayal of his isolated, ethereal character, while the script romanticizes the premature consummation of the scarred youth's potentially life-altering love.

Watch out for: Nongraphic premarital sexual activity, a few instances of sexual humor, at least one use of profanity, a couple of crude terms and six crass remarks.

Rated: A-III; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2010