Charade vs. The Truth About Charlie
It’s a story of murder, mistaken identity, mystery, money, and amour (there is no m-word for love in the thesaurus). It’s the classic story of Charade, and it all begins back in 1963, when Regina Lambert (Audrey Hepburn) returns from vacation to find her house empty, her husband, Charles, dead, the small fortune that he stole missing, and three thugs are after her. She soon runs into a man, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant), who she met while on vacation. The mystery really begins to unfold when an official from the United States Embassy (Walter Mathow) enlists her help to find the money, and in turn the killer. Regina soon discovers that in this game of charade, no one is who they claim to be.
Now, twenty-nine years later, bring in the talent of director/screenwriter/producer Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) and the result is The Truth About Charlie. Yes, my friends, it is true. The Truth About Charlie is simply Charade masquerading as a new film. The Truth About Charlie (let’s call it Charlie for short) is a straight remake of Charade with only a few small plot and character changes (i.e.; Peter Joshua is now called Joshua Peters). It even shares some of the same dialogue as the original film.
The truth be told, I actually like the remake better than the original (this is a historic moment, I will probably never write those words again). Charlie is a beautiful work of cinematograpic art. The cinematographers use different angles, colors, film quality, and movement as a way to make the movie seem similar to movies shot in the time period of the original, and make the plot seem more mysterious. Unlike most American films, the action takes place behind as well as in front of the camera. This gives Charlie a leg up on Charade, because while both films are a bit confusing, Charlie is so aesthetically pleasing, it made me forget that I was lost.
No one can ever replace Audrey Hepburn, but if anyone comes close, it’s Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible 2). The resemblance is there physically, vocally, and artistically. It was like seeing my favorite actress alive again. Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes) however, was not a good replacement for Cary Grant. He wasn’t bad, but he got on my nerves so much, I wanted to chuck my enormous, liter-sized, Rave Motion Pictures water bottle at him. My dad says that he was supposed to be annoying, but I say since Cary Grant wasn’t, that is not the case.
The Truth About Charlie truly is a great movie. It is fun to watch, and leads the audience through a story that keeps them in the dark until the big “ohhhh, I get it,” ending. It is a tad confusing, so I suggest renting Charade before heading to the theater. I recommend this film to anyone who wants to go to the movies and have fun without having to think too hard. That, my fellow movie lovers, is the truth about Charade and Charlie.
P.S. Philatelists will love this movie.
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