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15
3.3 out of 5 stars
The Truth About Charlie [DVD] [2003]
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2003
Before this film even started, it already had two strikes against it in my book. You see, "Charade" - the film of which "The Truth About Charlie" is a re-make of - is one of my all-time favorite films. Thus, when I first heard it was being re-made, I thought that idea was insane. Why mess with near-perfection? "Charade" still holds up very well after forty years and no present-day actor and actress pairing could ever re-create the magic Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn brought to the original. Director Jonathan Demme sure had guts to take on this project. If he desecrated the memory of "Charade" then its legions of fans would surely let him know about it. Well, after finally viewing the re-make with as much of an open mind as possible, I can say that the film is not the total disaster I feared it might be, but, despite good stabs by Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, "The Truth About Charlie" is significantly inferior to "Charade."
Newlywed Regina Lambert (Newton) returns to Paris to find her apartment abandoned and looted. Matters become worse when the police soon inform her that husband has been murdered. After Regina is shown one passport after another of her dead husband, each with a different identity, she immediately realizes Charlie was not exactly what he seemed. One crucial clue to unraveling the truth about her husband comes to her when a government official played by Tim Robbins tells her that mysterious strangers would soon be stalking her . . . . because her husband had stolen six million dollars. Thankfully, a knight in shining armor by the name of Joshua Peters (Wahlberg) shows up to help Reggie. Or is he only after the money too?
"Charade" worked because of three reasons: (1) its clever story was a delight to unravel as one charade after another was exposed to reveal the true intentions of all its characters, (2) Grant and Hepburn were perfectly matched and fed off each other's screen charisma, and (3) director Stanley Donen delivered a crisp and breezy film that managed to never confuse its audience while still keeping all of its complex elements intact. "The Truth About Charlie" fails to deliver in all three respects. Demme tweaked his version of the story to prevent it from being a straight re-make of the original. However, these new twists - while interesting at times - do not improve matters. While "Charade" assembled all of the pieces of the puzzle in a neat manner at its conclusion, "The Truth About Charlie" concludes in a mess (and an unnecessary epilogue only works to complicate matters further). Wahlberg and Newton do the best they can but there's not much spark between them. Separately, Newton is very good in creating a character who is scared, angry, clever, and charming at the same time and Wahlberg makes some amends for his "Planet of the Apes" debacle, but sadly neither of them can elevate the film. Finally, Jonathan Demme is no Stanley Donen, plain and simple.
If you are purchasing the DVD, then the good news is that the original "Charade" is included on the DVD and the print of it is of very good quality compared to the many public domain copies in circulation. If anything, the release of "The Truth About Charlie" can be considered a good thing for bringing "Charade" to the attention of a new generation of film watchers. There are times when new is not better than old and one need only look at both "Charade" and "The Truth About Charlie" to see such an example of this point.
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on 1 February 2011
I bought this dvd not for The Truth About Charlie but for the dvd on the reverse... Charade. I am very pleased with the quality of this version of Charade. There are some bad ones out there. As I am a big fan of this film and regard it as an excellent comedy thriller in the Hitchcock style there were no surprises there.
As for Charlie....it is O.K if you like this style of modern film making... but it is not for me! If you are like me buy it for Charade....and enjoy!
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on 24 July 2011
I am always eager to watch a movie when Mark Wahlberg is part of the cast as he is a fantastic actor. Now about the movie, it was enjoyable viewing and I particular appreciate the method that was used which made me uncertain at all times which person or persons was the debauched or hero until the concluding. It was a passable story line and the actors and actress bought the movie to life and worthwhile watching.
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on 18 February 2012
DVD arrived on time and was in perfect condition. Wife happy with it which in turn makes it a far happier and peaceful existence!!!!
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on 30 January 2013
The Truth about Charlie I found, though a Good Cast, it to be both confusing and boring sadly! others might like !
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2008
Is ' The Truth About Charlie ' Worth buying ?

If its the Region 2 version I am not sure but if you get your hands on the Region 1 version then without a doubt its a Bargain.

Everything below relates to the Region 1 version as I know for a fact that you get a extra special Bonus.

It contains a ' excellent ' widescreen version { 1.85:1 aspect ratio } of ' Charade ' that has been digitally remastered.

Yes I know this may appear to be a ' back to front ' way of getting a decent copy of Charade but you will be over the moon as to how good the quality is.

By the way the reason why there is so many bad quality versions is because Charade is now in the public domain due to a legal irregularity - no claim of copyright was put into the original prints hence why anyone can release it even although the quality is sub standard.

It was driving me Nuts as there has to be thirty different versions of Charade and I just don't have the money buying my way though them until I found a decent version.

Anyway my hunt is over - I would have paid a lot more just for Charade alone.

As to how good or bad The Truth About Charlie is really depends on how you come at it.

If you think its going to be a patch on the original film then forget it - No one will every be able to make it better.

Far better not to try and compare it.

Public warning - before viewing The Truth About Charlie go and buy some Motion Sickness Pills as you will need them - the Cameraman swirls the camera about so much that I caught my self shouting at the screen - Stop moving the Camera.

It really irritates me as there is no need for it - he swirls about so much that I had to speed it on.

The nano second editing will also drive you up the wall - your eyes don't have time to focus on the one subject before it cuts away and repeats itself.

The Truth About Charlie could have been a great film if it was not for the editing and the spaced out Cameraman but of course I did not buy the dvd for that film I bought it for the flip side and Charade is a Classic so really in my eyes The Truth About Charlie is the extra bonus.

I have hunted about and I cant find any concrete proof that the Region 2 version is identical to the region 1 version so really why gamble - splash out on the region 1 and you never know you may get around to watching The Truth About Charlie In actual fact watch that side first and then flip over for a wonderful treat
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2011
Why, in Heaven's name did they find it necessary to re-do "CHARADE"???? Some wise
fellow once said that if you have to change anything, a principal, idea, tradition...etc., you have to change it with something of value!!!! Otherwise why the change at all! I have seen "CHARADE" tens of times and I always enjoy it more and more. This one I have seen only once and I wanted to throw-up!!! The only good thing about this disc is that it includes the original "CHARADE" in excellent quality, better even than the Criterion release, and this is worth a lot!!!!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I feel so bad for buying this DVD. I loved the original Charade with my favourite actor Cary Grant starring and had stumbled upon this by accident. I wish I never had now.The film is poorly cast, the plot is followed almost identically but in a more negative and boring fashion and non of the actors fit the parts they are playing. I have no idea why Thandie Newton was cast as Mrs Lambert and even less of a comprehension as to why Mark Wahlberg was in the film at all. Neither actor did the character's justice and it was horrible to see one of my favourite films mutilated by this version. Presumably the film was remade because the film industry couldn't come up with any new ideas so they are now simply recycling brilliant classic films and modernising them in a laughable, tedious way? If you value old films like I do, and indeed any film fan should, then you will save yourself an awful evening and pick a good film instead.
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on 2 June 2015
Wahlberg fan, great
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on 21 August 2014
Great item, x
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