Charlie St. Cloud

Rated 3.0

Just when you thought you’d never see a movie that combines elements of both The Notebook and The Sixth Sense, Charlie St. Cloud arrives and breaks all your expectations. OK, it’s not that great, but it does develop into a weird blend of eerie romanticism that works in its favor. The story revolves around athletic, Stanford-bound Charlie (Zac Efron), whose life is literally turned upside down in a fatal car crash that leaves younger brother Sam dead. Given a second chance at life, Charlie instead abandons his dreams to stay home where he habitually visits the ghost of Sam to ease his guilt … until a girl enters the picture. The sappiness oozes from every corner, but there’s something likeable about this movie. Maybe it’s the beautifully shot sequences of Charlie’s town along the Pacific Northwest coast. Maybe it’s the weird twist, unexpected in a romantic drama. Or maybe, just maybe, Efron manages to play Charlie with a surprising sincerity, breaking the High School Musical curse he was otherwise bound by. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13