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There is a great sub-genre in American cinema that stems from the work of folks like Bret Easton Ellis. Upper (upper) middle class parents who send their kids to prep school so they might perfect their acerbic wit, dabble in some meds and assorted drugs, and ultimately, end up in tears over the mess their lives have become. All the makings of a modern-day bildungsroman for the screen. Charlie Bartlett is one such kid, played perfectly by Anton Yelchin (and for those of you who have not seen how great he is in ‘Huff’ – well shame on you). The kooky mother is Hope Davis. Sans the all-important father-figure, the two dine alone and share doting, if awkward moments as young Charlie gets booted from the most-recent prep school, and must now move onto public digs. Thus begins the pranks and shoves and all the good stuff that makes up many a high school movie. Robert Downey, Jr. plays the principal and his daughter gets a little summin’ summin’ going with Charlie. The upshot is that young Bartlett finds his niche as a shoulder to cry on, and ad-hoc apothecary to the various rugrats now in his company. Stories about lost kids who find their way are always rewarding – especially when there’s ample comedy and snarkiness in there to keep us engaged. As for this particular incarnation, however, it’s mostly memorable for its individual moments and exchanges, and not so much as a feature film that will make us want to revisit its story on another occasion. It’s got the jabs and it’s got the heart, but doesn’t quite have the haunting finish of many in this oeuvre. For that, we will look to fare like “Igby Goes Down” and “The Rules of Attraction.”