Review: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

Charles Swan III: Charlie Sheen
Kirby Star: Jason Schwartzman
Saul: Bill Murray
Ivana: Katheryn Winnick
Izzy Swan: Patricia Arquette
Marnie: Aubrey Plaza

Written & Directed by: Roman Coppola
Running Time: 86 minutes
Rated: R (for language and some nudity)

Deny it all you want, but Charlie Sheen is still winning.

Starring in a movie that you would swear he was born to play, Sheen is larger than life in an impressive film by Roman Coppola about the life of a graphics designer whose life goes into a tailspin after he’s dumped by the woman who appears to genuinely be the love of his life. It’s a quirky movie, but one that has heart and soul, something that is often missing from movies in this particular genre. When Charles mourns the ending of his relationship with Vivian, it’s hard not to doubt his sincerity. While some of his actions are questionable, his raw and unchecked emotion is authentic and because of that it’s easier to sympathize with Mr. Swan as he does his best to move on and get back to work and life. Jumping back and froth from reality and fantasy, Coppola conducts a symphony of bizarre stuff that somehow mashed together in to a movie that was both enjoyable and very cute. I had a lot of fun watching this light hearted comedy, and recommend it to those who are looking for something to watch this Valentine’s day that’s not over the top violent and full of zombies.

What makes this film work here is the story and the characters. Kudos to Coppola for writing another touching script that does its best to avoid the pitfalls that a film like this often falls for. This movie doesn’t hold Charles Swan up on a pedestal for those to look up to, but rather takes him down from it and brings him to our level. Charles is seen as a person who is human, a man with feelings and a heart that is broken. A man who is loved by his friends and is not above doing anything for his friends when they need his help and that makes Charles a character that is easy to understand and sympathize with. If you haven’t been hurt by a girl to the point where you want to throw her stuff of a cliff or smash a rock through a window, you’ve never experienced real love, man. Throughout the film, Swan experiences rage, jealousy, sadness and even understanding when he eventually realizes this is a phase and he’ll eventually move on and forget Vivian.

(Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman and Bill fucking Murray… enough said.)

What made the movie so much fun was its cast. Charlie Sheen on the same screen with actors like Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray was more than enough for me to want to put my ass into a seat, but I also enjoyed the contribution from other supporting cast as well. Patricia Arquette was a surprising addition as her interactions seemed so genuine, you would have sworn they were siblings in real life. Their interactions reminded me a lot of my own siblings, being there for you no matter how much you screw up your life and never judging you too much. Schwartzman’s Kirby was over the top but so effective as he was funny and then some. Bill Murray can seem to do no wrong these days, adding more layers to what is already an impressive piece of work.

A lot of people might grip on this for being a weird mess of emotion and melodramatic hodgepodge, but overall “A Glimpse into the Mind of Charles Swan III” really worked for me. I understood and followed Charles without question as his portrayal of heartbreak and loneliness really hit home with me and will no doubt do the same with men who have been where Charles was at that particular moment of his life. Coppola’s film is expressive and authentic when it comes to the feelings this film proudly wears on its sleeve. One of the better movies I’ve seen in the last few months, and I recommend it to those who are in search of something different than the usual box office rubbish. I had a lot of fun watching it and I am sure many movie goers in search of a film about genuine love and loss will too.

Rating: 8 (Out of 10)


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