Charlie Bartlett (2007) - full transcript

Although cheerful, friendly, intelligent, well-dressed, authentic and wealthy, Charlie Bartlett has problems. With his father gone and his mother loopy and clueless, he's been expelled from every private school for his victimless crimes. Now he's in a public school getting punched out daily by the school thug. He ever longs to be popular - the go-to guy - and the true crux of his troubles is that he invariably finds the means to this end, whatever that might be. At Western Summit High, he makes peace with his tormentor by going into business with him - listening to kids' problems and selling them prescription drugs. Charlie's a hit, but attraction to Susan (daughter of the school's laissez-faire principal), new security cameras on campus, a student's overdose, and Charlie's open world view all converge to get him in serious trouble. Can this self-made physician possibly heal himself and just be a kid? - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Charlie! Charlie!
Charlie! Charlie!

Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

Thank you! Thank you very much!

Thank you!

How you all doing tonight?

It's great to see all of you here.

My name is Charlie Bartlett!

Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

Charlie. Charlie!


Your mom's here.

She's in the dean's office.

Good luck, Charlie. Stay out of trouble.

I'm not sure I understand.
Is it his grades?

No, Mrs. Bartlett, it's not his grades
and it's not his attendance.

Look, quite frankly, he is one of
our brightest boys here at school,

albeit, unusual.

Well, I'm just not sure
why he must be expelled, then.

Well, this might shed some light.

You're expelling him
for making a driver's license?

He's been running a laminating press
from inside his dorm room,

and he has been selling them
to the other students.

You have to admit,
they look pretty authentic.

Look, Mrs. Bartlett, to be honest,
I think he has a lot of potential.

He's innovative, he's intelligent.
He's obviously highly motivated.

Perhaps this would be
a good time for an endowment.

No. Mrs. Bartlett, what he did was illegal

and we can't overlook that.

- Okay.
- Okay.

- I understand.
- Good.

Are you mad?

You know, I'm not.

I just can't fathom why you did it.
It's not like you needed the money.

I mean, really, Charlie, what would
your father say if he were here?

Mom, they were just starting
to appreciate me.

You know, I was the guy
that everyone wanted to meet.

Well, maybe there's more
to high school than being well liked.

Like what, specifically?

Nothing comes to mind.

I guess now we try you living at home
and going to public school.

I even kept your room
exactly the way you left it.

Hey, Mom, have you been feeding my fish?

Oh, dear.

Mom? I think I might take
the bus in tomorrow.

Really? I was going to have
Thomas drive you.

I know, but I don't think anybody else
is going to show up with a chauffeur.

You're probably right.

- Have you taken your Klonopin today?
- I haven't.

- Where do you suppose I put that?
- Probably in your purse.

There you are.
What would I do without you, Charlie?

Well, it's wonderful
to have you back, Charlie.

Thanks, Mom. I missed you, too.

Are you kidding me? Suzy Q!

What? Come in.

Hi. Volume. Thank you.

Hold on, The Principal is here.
What do you want, Dad?

Why do you call me The Principal
when you're talking to your friends?

Pretending to have contempt for you
gives me a certain amount of cred,

if you can understand that.

No, no, no.

Okay, what do you want?

- I wanna say hi.
- Hi.

Fresh crack rock.

- God, it's called rock candy.
- That was a joke.

I was eating it decades before
you were even conceived.

I'll be in my office.

- Love you.
- Love you. Bye.

You have two new messages.

Nathan, I think it might be
a good idea if I'm there

when you break the news
about installing cameras to the kids

so the announcement is taken,
you know, seriously.

Next message.
- Nathan, it's me.

I'm wondering why Susan
hasn't been returning my calls.

Is it of no consequence to you

whether she has a relationship
with her mother, you fuck...

I think you got the wrong bus.

Western Summit High School, right?


Hi, I'm Charlie.

Hi, Charlie. I'm Len.

Good to meet you, Len.

It's good to meet you, Charlie.

Thank you.

Nice tie, homie.

Killer roach, bro.

Move out of the way! Get out!

They didn't give you a locker
in the teachers' lounge?

Oh, I'm not a teacher.

You sure look like a teacher.

Okay, everyone, last chance to sign up.
The auditions are today

and will be held at 4:00
and everybody's welcome.

Yeah. And for everyone who doesn't know,
this year we're doing Henry V.

And it's Shakespeare, so feel free
to read for a role of the opposite sex.

See you at 4:00, professor.

Dense fucking nug, man.

Shit, why are you looking at it like that?
You're gonna buy it.

You've done every other time.
Just fucking buy it.

Hi, I'm Charlie.

What's that? Is that a briefcase?

Actually, I believe it's an attach? case.

What's that thing on your jacket mean?

Oh, this?

Cor ad cor loquitur. It's in Latin.

I think the translation is,

"Heart speaks to heart, "
but I may be wrong.

Is he, like, a total faggot or what? Shut up.

Is that a rhetorical question?

Guess not.

Fuck him up!

Fuck, yeah!

Guess what?
I think you like that, you little bitch.

How do you like that, you little bitch?

No smokes! Cigarettes out!

What have we here?

Nothing. We're just messing around.

Mr. Bivens, Mr...

You, get to class. Now. Let's go.

Later, homo.

You okay?


I'm so sick of my parents.
Like, honestly, I'm 17.

I don't see what the big deal is.
I mean, it's just a hole.

I mean, what does my mom care
how many times I get my ears pierced?

The squad doesn't care.

Whitney, I think you should get
your na-na pierced.

That's gross, you 'tard.

Hi, I'm Charlie.

Come on.

- Hi, Charlie.
- Hey, Len.

Len, you want to join me?

Thank you, Charlie.

I got peas and carrots.

I love peas and carrots.
- Me, too.

When, Caius, Rome is thine,
thou art poorest of all,

then shortly art thou mine.

And scene.

Thank you. That was stunning.

Charlie Bartlett.

So, which one of Shakespeare's works
will you be performing for us?

Actually, I thought I'd do a monologue
from Cordiroy Seville's masterpiece,

Misadventures of a Teenage Renegade.

I guess I should tell you

about the first time I had my period.

My daddy was driving me back
from summer camp

and I turned to him and I said,

"Daddy, I think I'm sloughing."

And he said, "That's nice, honey."

And I realized that he had,

like, no idea just what "sloughing" meant.

So I explained to him that it meant

blood was gushing
from my you-know-where.

And he nearly wrecked the car

trying to hand me
a wad of fast-food napkins,

which is not something that you

particularly want to stick up your hooch.

Great. Thank you.

I wasn't quite finished, actually.

No. That'll do. Thank you, Charlie.

I'm gonna fuck you up.

- You getting this?
- Yeah. I'm getting it.

- Yeah! Fuck him up, Murph!
- How does that feel?

I don't care. You know why?
Because that was a rhetorical question.

Hey, Charlie, what's Latin for,
"I'm a total pussy"?

Let's get out of here.

Charlie, how'd it go?
- Stellar.

Did you make any friends?

Okay, you can forget about
school tomorrow.

I'm calling Dr. Weathers.

Now, your mom tells me that you've been
getting into scrapes with the other boys.

That's the best euphemism

for getting the living crap
kicked out of you that I've ever heard.

And why do you suppose
that you're being picked on?

I don't know. I'm abnormal, I guess.

You don't feel normal?

My family has a psychiatrist on call.
How normal can that be?

How are your classes?

They're all right.

I mean, I have trouble
concentrating sometimes.

And what is it that you think about?

I kind of have this one fantasy.


No, not really.

It's just this fantasy of me
stepping out on stage,

and there are all these kids
out in the audience

chanting my name,
like I'm a rock star, you know.

And so, I step up to the mike and I say,

"How you all doing tonight?"

And then they start cheering and cheering.

"It's great to see all of you.
I'm Charlie Bartlett.

"And if there's one thing
I want you to walk away with tonight,

"it's that the sky is the limit.

"So, for those of you with troubles,
for those of you feeling scared,

"or confused or angry,

"remember, you are not alone."

And then they go nuts again.

Charlie, how are you feeling
about your father these days?

Are you angry that he's gone?

- Gas prices.
- Excuse me?

I also worry a lot in class
about rising gas prices.

Charlie, I'm going to write you
a prescription for Ritalin,

and what I'd like you to do
is start taking the low dose

and if after a few days
you feel no side effects,

then I would like to see
you start taking a higher dose.

So you think I have ADD, or...

We won't know that until the Ritalin
helps this concentration problem.

You mean, if I take the medicine
and it helps me concentrate,

we'll know I have ADD?

That's the idea.

Welcome back, professor.

- Fuck you.
- Yeah. Fuck you.

Can anyone tell me why Mercury
has only one day per year?

Because Mercury is the only planet
that does not rotate on its axis.

Hello. Good morning.

The word of the day is "gratitude."

"Gratitude: The quality of being thankful,

"readiness to show appreciation for
and return kindness."

As in, if you would all sit down
and shut up,

I am prepared to express my gratitude.
Thank you.

A lot on the agenda today.

Our superintendent, Mr. Sedgwick,
is paying us a visit,

so for my sake,
let's be on our best behavior.

First off, the student lounge will be
closed Monday,

while we install security cameras.


How can you do that?
That's, like, invasion of privacy.

There's a liability issue,

and I'm afraid the board
has already passed the motion.

Anyway, I would now like
to give Mr. Sedgwick the floor

to discuss our cell phone policy.

But the student lounge is the only place
we can hang out without teachers.

Are there cameras in the teachers' lounge?

Hang out?

Okay, we've already moved on
to the cell phone policy.

There will be ample opportunity
to discuss that later, but right now...

This is total and absolute bullshit!

Come on.

Right. Right.

You know, you kids really need to
find appropriate ways

to express your ingratitude.

Mr. Sedgwick?


Come on, guys, it's nothing.
It's just a fire drill.

Proceed outside in an orderly fashion.

Let's not have a stampede.

They don't have much
respect for you, do they?

In case you haven't noticed,
they're not too fond of you, either.

I said respect, Nathan, not affection.

We're not trying to win
a popularity contest.

I'm really looking forward to us
having the weekend alone.

I thought maybe we could go
to a wine tasting.

We haven't done that since you were a kid.

- Maybe.
- Maybe?

- You haven't touched your food.
- I'm not hungry, Mom.

I'm studying the osmosis of water
through the epidermis.

Now, I cooked a perfectly edible meal,
Charlie Bartlett.

I'm feeling a little under-appreciated
at the moment.

And I think it's very important
that you try to at least eat your greens.

Dear, didn't Dr. Weathers
say something yesterday about fluid?

What did he say about...

Are you listening to me?


Can anybody up there hear me?


Charlie, is that you?

Wake up, you sleepyheads, wake up!

Wake up! Wake up!
My name is Charlie Bartlett,

and I am not alone!

Now, there's no history of drug use
whatsoever, Mrs...

It's Marilyn.
Please, no need to be formal here.

And drug use? No, none at all.

Well, it looks like he's coming down some.

I'm not an MD, but it is possible
for Ritalin to get you pretty high.

That's probably what it is.
It is a new medication.

Charlie, dear.

Yeah, as I was saying, a lot of the kids
at the colleges are taking this stuff.

When I was in college,
we were dropping tabs of acid.

I've never partaken in
any illicit drugs myself.


Maybe you got slapped around
too many times

for lunch money on your way to the bus.

Maybe your pop's got a boozing... No.

Maybe your pop...

Maybe your pop's gotta
booze himself up every morning.

Maybe your father has to, how do you say,

plow roads with a sense of humor.

I mean, he has to booze himself up.

With a sense of humor.

- Morning.
- Good morning.

Hey, Charlie.
- Hey.

- Hey, Charlie.
- Hey, guys.

- Hey, Len.
- Hey, Charlie.

Len, do you feel like making 50 bucks
after school today?

Fifty bucks.


What the hell is this?

- Charlie wants to talk to you.
- Suck this, mongoloid.

Get the hell off me! Fuck!

Hi, Murphy. How are you?

You must have a fucking death wish!

Charlie says you gotta be nice.

Look, Murph, I think we got started off
on the wrong foot.

- I want to work things out.
- I'm gonna put you in the fucking hospital.

- Len.
- Fuck.


Listen, Murph, I've had a lot of time
to think about what you did to me.

Yeah? What did you come up with, genius?

I think you're angry, man.

What have I got to be angry about?

Maybe you got slapped around
one too many times

for lunch money on your way to the bus.

Maybe your pop's gotta
booze himself up every morning

so he can plow roads
with a sense of humor.

Then when he gets home, you're just

a distant third to Sloppy Joes
and a bad sitcom.

Maybe the cheerleaders call you
a scumbag behind your back.

Maybe it's because the school's
got you placed on the remedial track

and your teachers are really good
at making you feel like an idiot.

Maybe it's none of these things.

Maybe it's all of them.

- What do you want from me?
- I wanna be your friend, Murphy.

Okay, maybe you're not a total tool,

but guys like you and guys like me
can't be friends.

- Why's that?
- I take the train tracks home.

- You drive around in a limo.
- I guess you're right.

Look, I got 90 pills of Ritalin
that we could sell at the dance.

Maybe we're just gonna have to
settle for being business partners.

What do these do?

Floods the brain
with norepinephrine and dopamine.

It gets you high.

So, I figure $10 a pill, right?

We split the profit,

which means you make almost 500 bucks
without spending a nickel.

Business partners, huh?

So, 1:00, right?

What? What happens at 1:00?

- My curfew, at 1:00.
- Where are you going?

The dance, Dad. I'm going to the dance.
I told you last week.

- Have you given up your singing?
- No. Why?

I don't know, just...
You've got a great voice.

I used to love coming home
to hear you singing in the other room.

That's how I knew
you were happy, I guess.

Happily texting,
ignoring this intimate exchange.

Who's that? Who are you texting?

Rodine's outside.

Have fun.

- I will. So, 2:00, right?
- Nice try.

God, I liked you better
when you were a history teacher.

That makes two of us.

- I'll see you guys in a minute.
- Okay.

- Hey, Susan.
- Hey.

So, you think there's any chance
of a dance tonight, or...

I'd say there's a distinct possibility,
Charlie Bartlett.


- So, how did we do?
- Well, it's gone.

- Gone?
- All of it. Every last pill.

It's gone.

- Well, shit.
- Yeah.


Eighty-eight miles per hour!

Fucking A!

Hey, Charlie. What's up, man?

Hey, man.

- This sucks.
- Seriously sucks.

Thank you.

Charlie, you want to sign this petition?

It's to get the security cameras
out of our student lounge.

Oh, absolutely.

- It's right here.
- All right.

- Thanks.
- No problem.

See you later, Charlie.

- Hey, girls. You gonna sign this?
- Yeah.


- You're Charlie Bartlett, right?
- Yeah.

I'm Kip. Kip Crombwell.

Nice to meet you, Kip.


Do you think there's any way
that we could maybe talk in private?


Everyone, come on, this petition
gets those cameras out of our lounge.

So, what's up?

Is it true that you can get a hold
of medication?

Yeah, I guess. Why? What's going on?

I'm, like, totally depressed.

I've been having these spells,
and trouble breathing,

mostly in class.

What does it feel like?

It feels like a heart attack.

But I'm thinking, you know,
it's probably mental.

And I can't go to my parents about it,

because they already think I'm a freak,
so I just thought that you...

Look, I'm not a doctor, but...

I don't know if Ritalin's gonna help you.

Do you know what would?

I'm not sure.

But I'm gonna find out.

I'm gonna work this out, I promise.



I get short of breath and dizzy,
you know, nausea, blurred vision.

I mean, sometimes it feels like
a heart attack.

Yeah, we call that a panic attack.

Oh, is that what they call it?

Well, what can we do?

Well, I think maybe
I'll put you on a low dose of

Xanax and Zoloft.

Okay, so, here's the thing.
In everything that I've read,

there's not one case of anyone dying
of a panic attack.

- No?
- No. Not one.

So the next time you start to feel anxious,
you just tell yourself,

"Hey, I'm having a panic attack.
I'm not gonna die.

"In fact, in 15 minutes,
I'll probably feel fine."

What do I do until then?

Murph, start him on
50 milligrams of Zoloft

and half a milligram of Xanax as needed.

Here, Kip, this should provide you
with some relief

and we'll just meet next week,
same time, same place, okay?

- Thank you, Charlie.
- No problem. Be nice, Murphy.

Charlie, I spoke to Dr. Weathers today.

He said you may have not only ADD,

but a whole battery
of psychological disorders

that will likely plague you for life.

Sounds a bit melodramatic,
don't you think?

That's what I said.

Then he went on to imply that
you may have inherited it from me.

I was rather perturbed.

I mean, look at me.
I'm as fit as a fucking fiddle.

Can't argue with that.

Are you making any friends at all?

Working on it.

He says he doesn't want to see me.

I can't stop crying.

Well, sometimes people say one thing
and they really mean another, like...

He called me a loser,
and last night he hit my mom.

You have to understand that
what he's doing isn't because of you.

He hates his life so much that...

All I wanna do is drop acid.
I just can't handle this place.

Duh, dude. This place sucks.

But I just worry that one day
we're gonna look back at high school

and wish we'd done something different.

So maybe you should...

Get breast implants.

I mean, a lot of my friends
are getting them.

Well, that's up to you,
but speaking as a guy,

it's kind of a turnoff when a girl
isn't cool with being herself.

I'm not saying that I'm gay.

So what if, you know,
I'm not attracted to girls?

You know, this sucks, man.

Well, at least you're attracted
to somebody.

I mean, if you weren't,
then we'd really be up shit's creek.

I feel very productive,
and I can't sleep at all.

I lose weight,
and I'm given to frivolous spending

and promiscuity.

Wow. What I'd like to do is...

Introduce you to some of
the serotonergic antidepressants,

like Prozac.

What else can you tell me about...

Feelings of depersonalization
and boredom.

Anger and aggression. Irritability.

Obsessive behavior is I guess
what you guys call it.

Like, whenever I hear anyone say a word
that starts with the letter...

I have to say five words that start
with the letter "V"

and tap my head with my right hand.

Perhaps we should start with...

Viagra! Virgin! Venal! Vagabond! Vagina!

- Thanks.
- No problem.

You're in luck.

We're running a special
on Wellbutrin today.

Is there something wrong
with the other bathroom?


Hi, Charlie!

- Hi, Charlie!
- Hi, Charlie!


I'm so glad to hear
that you're doing better, Charlie.

The truth is, we sometimes don't know

how you youngsters
are gonna react to these medications.

Trust me, Doc, bringing psychiatric
drugs and teenagers together

is like opening a lemonade stand
in the desert.

Can you shut the fuck up for one second?
We're working here. Shit.

- Whatever, man.
- Fuck.

Murph, is that my face making that sound?

Yeah. It's kind of sad, dude.
You didn't even put up a fight.

What did you tape this for, anyway?

I always have my fights taped.
It's what I do.


Yeah, man, they're fun to watch in, like,
a Greatest Rodeo Deaths kind of way.

You don't feel bad
for the kids or anything?


Kind of.

Well, what do you want me to do?

- Maybe we should make it up to them?
- Dude, are you serious?

Charlie Bartlett
Productions brings you...

Starring Murphy Bivens!

Bert Bannister!


Terry Gotham!

Phuc Nguyen!

Charlie Bartlett! And Kip Crombwell,

the kid whose name
you probably didn't know.

Right here on Western Summit High's
Greatest After School Fights!

Watch Murphy Bivens' fists of fury
pummel your best friends.

Get them while they last!
Bert Bannister hit in the face!

Charlie Bartlett punched in the eye!

Instant gratification or your money back!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are almost out!

- Hey, Charlie.
- Kip. Hey.

I heard that you were giving us
some of the proceeds?

You heard right, my friend. Murph?

There you go.
Pleasure doing business with you.

- Hey, Murph.
- Come on.


- I'll see you in the sequel, bitch!
- Thank you.

Sequel coming out this fall!

Ladies and gentlemen,
even better than this one!

Charlie Bartlett
to the principal's office.

So, you're the infamous Charlie Bartlett.
We haven't officially met yet.

I'm Nathan Gardner,
your beloved principal,

and this is our superintendent,
Mr. Sedgwick,

who made a special visit to meet you.

Is it safe to assume
you know why you're here?

No, not exactly.

This might well be the most disturbing
thing I've ever seen at this school.

Peddling this kind of trash
makes you reprehensible.

Do you know
what "reprehensible" means?

- Yes, sir.
- Do you understand what you did wrong?

No, sir. Not really.

Not really? Okay.

Well, you've got three days
of suspension to think about it.

Hey, what's up?

Hey, aren't you suspended?

- Yeah.
- Nice.

Hey, do you wanna hang out?
- Sure.

- Cool. Come inside.
- Thank you.

Do you want
to spend an evening at Ch?teau Bartlett?


Thomas, Ch?teau Bartlett,

Is this technically
considered a mansion?

Well, my mom calls it "The Estate."

Oh. La-di-da.

Oh, can you play this one?


Hi, Mom.

Oh, yeah. Mom, this is Susan.

Susan, this is my mother, Marilyn.

It's such a pleasure to meet you, Susan.

Yeah, you too, Marilyn.

- She seems very nice.
- Yeah.

Do I get to meet your dad, too?

No, he's actually not with us anymore.

Oh. I'm sorry.

Yeah. It's okay.

He was a CIA agent, you know. Yeah.

He survived Somalia, Yugoslavia, Iraq.

Finally, he came home, you know,

and our favorite thing to do together
was to get ice cream.

So, one day, I was just sitting around

and I heard the ice cream truck outside

and it always played the same song,

Yankee Doodle.

So, basically, he ran out
to stop the truck and it just

drove right over him
and killed him instantly.

Are you fucking with me?

- Bravo. Really.
- Thank you.

You're too kind.

Say, George, just one more will do.


- How you doing, Nate?
- Hi, Bert.

What's going on? How you been?


Listen, Nate,

do you know this Charlie Bartlett kid?

A bit. Why do you ask?

You're not gonna like it.

- What?
- Get off the phone.

- Hang up the phone.
- Okay.

- Thank you.
- I'll call you right back.

You're gonna shut down this power grid,
please, for one second.

Thank you.

And the TV.



Are you seeing a boy
named Charlie Bartlett?

Well, if you know I am,
why are you asking?

I don't know, but now I do. Okay?

What does he want?

Are you drunk?

Do you expect me to qualify that
with an answer?

Be really careful right now.
I'm not kidding.

I met this kid. I was a teenage boy once...

You know what? I would understand
if you were drunk, Dad,

- because you're acting like a jackass!
- Sweetie, be open to the possibility

that he would love
to tell his friends how he...

Oh, how he what?

You know.

- No. How he what?
- Yes. You know what.

How he... With the principal's daughter.

Come on.



Thanks for the wonderful
compliment, Dad.

Come on, obviously, that came out wrong.

Sure did.

Time to get up, Charlie.

I don't have to go anywhere, Mom.
I'm suspended.

I am aware of that.

Come on. Get dressed.
We're visiting your father today.

Thank you, Thomas.


You come in when you're ready, dear.

- Was he worried?
- Nope.

He says, whatever's going on with you,
he's sure you're going to work it out.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Boy, time flies.

How was your 72-hour meditation?

Pretty enlightening.

Yeah, I'm proud to say
I'm completely rehabilitated.

Very interesting resume, Charlie.

Is there a private school
you haven't been kicked out of?

- Why? You checking up on me?
- Don't flatter yourself.


Principals have access
to academic records.

As you know, I'm the principal,
and as principal I will do my best

to help you graduate with
what you will need to survive in the world.

But I'm not always the principal.
Sometimes I'm other things.

Really? Like what?

Like Susan's father.


Don't worry, Charlie,
I'm not gonna call you into my office

and have one of those intimidating
father-boyfriend talks.

I'm not that kind of dad.

Well, thank you.

Because if I were one of those dads,

I'd probably say how my job
is a distant second to my daughter,

and so help me God, if you get out of line,

I will take a massive steaming dump
on your life.

Good to have you back.

Hey, Murph.
- Hey.

- Hello.
- Hello.

So, how does this work?
Do I just talk, or... Does Murphy listen?

Well, he's bound
by a confidentiality agreement.

But he can leave if you want.

- Yeah, maybe just for this first time.
- All right.

Sorry, Murph.

Yeah, yeah, I heard you.

It's not like
I'm your fucking business partner.

So, what did my dad want?

He just wanted to welcome me back.

He didn't say anything about me
hanging out with you?

Not really.

Maybe the way to do this
is to ask a question.

What question?

Charlie, I don't know.
You're the professional.

All right. Well, I guess the obvious one is
how do you feel about your dad?

You mean, besides the fact that this
stupid job turned him into an alcoholic?


How do you feel about that?

I think it actually bothers him
more than me, to be honest.

But there was the night.

What's "the night"?

The night he found out
my mother was having an affair.

He was plastered, waving this. 38 revolver
around, threatening to kill himself.


So, your mom left and you stayed, right?

Yeah, pretty much.

Well, he promised to get rid of the gun,

and then he went into treatment
for a while.

And then, for whatever reason,
he decided he was into boats.

You know, it's like someone said,

"Hey, you, you're crazy.
Chill out and get a hobby."

- Susan.
- Yes?

I'm still waiting for you to tell me
how you feel about your dad.


You're tough.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it just...

It kind of sucks having one parent ditch
and then the other one lose their mind.

I mean, how can I possibly hope
to turn out even remotely functional?


Well, I kind of do feel better.

I'm glad.

Well, thanks for listening, Charlie Bartlett.

No problem, Susan Gardner.



Listen up.

All right, due to the booming economy
of our fine school,

Dr. Charlie Bartlett here invites you all
to a private party at the Drive-In Club,

which will be the most raging party
in the history of Western Summit.

Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

Charlie! Charlie!

Dustin Lauderbach wants a minute
with you, dude.

Come on, is this really necessary?
I was hoping to get a chance to enjoy this.

No, man, he's captain of the football team.

All right.

All right, first of all, I'm sick of football.

I mean, zero desire to do this in college.

What do you want to do?

Try not to laugh,

but I was thinking of
going to Paris to study painting.

That's cool.
Have you mentioned this to your dad?

No way. Quitting football isn't gonna
go over very well,

let alone hitting him up two seconds later
for money to spend a year in France.

Well, what about your mom?

She only hears half the stuff I say.
What is that? There's a word for it.


So, what should I do?

Well, I think one of our duties as teenagers
is to occasionally piss off our parents.

- So, go for it, okay?
- Yeah.


I think Dustin Lauderbach may be a...

I think you're just jealous 'cause
you don't have any artistic ambitions.

Fuck you, dude. In fifth grade,

I played Linus in
You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

And I was good.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Wow, I didn't know that.

If I'm jealous, if,

it's because only guys
like Dustin Lauderbach

can get girls like Whitney Drummond.

You wanna hook up
with Whitney Drummond?

No. I want to do it right.

That's the kind of girl
you go dinner and a movie with.

I don't know,
you'd have to clean up quite a bit.

Not in this life.

So, why did you stop
doing the school play?

I kept getting my ass kicked
by people like me.

Murph, we really have to have
conversations like this more often.

Oh, bite me.

Here you are. You're coming with me.

I am, am I? Where are we going?

Well, Dr. Bartlett, I think it's high time
you stepped into my office.

Wow. Beats the hell out of my office.

So, what now?

Now I'm going to ask you
a series of questions,

and if you answer honestly,
you shall be rewarded.

All right.

All right. Question number one.

And this one is a little selfish on my part.

- Okay.
- Okay.

Is your interest in me
any way related to the fact

that my dad is the principal?

What? Why would it be?

Because I know you get a kick out of
doing things that might get you in trouble.

Well, I'm not gonna deny that, but no.

I pretty much liked you
from the first moment that I saw you.

And I had no idea who your father was.

Was that my reward?


I think I'm ready
for the next question then.

What's the deal with your father?

Does that really have to be
the next question?

Yes. The harder the question,
the greater the reward.

He's in prison.

My mom went into
a pretty bad depression

when he got arrested.

So, when he was out on bail,
he took me out for ice cream

and he told me I had to take care of her.

So, I promised him I would.

And I've been taking care of her ever since.

So, who takes care of you?


I've never done this before.

I know that, Charlie Bartlett.

That's really bad for you, you know?

- Hey. What are you doing?
- I'll be right back.

Oh, my God! Charlie, get in here!

Ladies and gentlemen,
how are you all doing tonight?

My name is Charlie Bartlett
and I am no longer a virgin!

Thank you!

For crying out loud.

I can't think of any reason
to stay on this planet.

No one at school even knows my name.

The idea of even making contact
with another human being

is like trying to defy gravity.

There's just no point in being alive.

Charlie, listen to
what Mr. Gardner has to say.

Kip Crombwell overdosed
on a handful of sedatives last night.

Is he okay?

He's okay, yeah.
He's gonna be fine. He's home.

And you might want to thank him later

for not telling his parents
where he got the drugs.

If anyone could prove it was you,
this would be a different story.

Charlie, how could you do
something like this?

What happens now?

You tell me.

If you can explain what you're doing,
or better yet, why you're doing it,

that would be a good start.

Look, I'm helping these kids, okay?
Nobody else is listening to them.

I encourage you to listen all you like,
but let's face it,

- you're not a professional.
- No.

And these medications
have a legitimate use.

They've helped a lot of people.
It's a generational thing.

You know, teenagers always find a way
to abuse something.

And why not, right?

Being zonked out of your mind
is a lot more fun

than dealing with your problems.

Excuse me for asking,
but are you speaking from experience or...

You know,
that's not an appropriate question.

- That's okay.
- Okay.

Yeah, I sought treatment for some issues.

You're not doing that anymore?

Got to the point where I felt
I was ready to stop, so I did.

- How's that going for you?
- Some days are better than others.

Do you want to talk about it sometime?

No, I would not
like to talk about it sometime.

Charlie, come on.

What are you doing this for?

I don't know.

I guess...

I'm really happy here.

For the first time, everybody likes me.

There are more important things.

Look, I know. Everybody keeps
saying that, but the thing is, is I'm 17,

and popularity is pretty damn
important to me.

Charlie, there are more important things.

Like what?

Like what you do with that popularity.

Look, I've been around a while,
you know, long enough to say this.

What you do in this life matters.

Hey, Kip.

Hey, Charlie.

How are you feeling?

Fine, I guess.
They had to pump my stomach.

- How was that?
- Pretty disgusting.

But now I get to just
play video games all day, so...


So, are you still,
like, a suicidal maniac or...

Well, it's not like all my problems
just went away.

Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

Look, Charlie, it's cool
that you came by and everything,

but there's really nothing that you can say

that's going to make me
feel any better, so...

Nothing? Why not?

No one knows I exist.

The last time a girl spoke to me
was in the third grade.

I have no friends and I'm an idiot.

You at least have friends.

How would you possibly know
what it's like?

- I just think you're missing the big picture.
- What big picture?

- The universe.
- What about the universe?

Well, the universe is a pretty big place.

Yeah. It's infinite, theoretically.

Right. Which means there's probably
life on other planets.

Not life like we think, but, yeah,
probably at least single-cell organisms.

Well, see, that's my whole point.

I mean, you could've been born
a single-cell organism

on the planet Zortex.

In fact, given the odds,
it's probably more likely.

But you weren't.
You were born a human being.

And not just any human being
in the history of human beings,

but a human being
that gets to be alive today,

that gets to listen to all kinds of music,
that gets to eat food from every culture,

that gets to download porn
off the internet.

So, really, you have everything to live for.

You feel better?

Not really.

Well, at least I tried.

- Hey, do you want to play some Killzone?
- Yeah.


- So, you're not selling drugs anymore?
- No, no. I'm searching for new enterprises.

- Like what?
- I don't know. You got any ideas?

You're talking to someone
who can never get anything done.

I've been trying to write a play, but,
you know, no one wants to read any of it.

Well, is it any good?

I don't know.
You can read it if you want to.



Sorry, guys, there's just no way.

- You didn't even read it.
- I read enough to know that it's a bad idea.


By virtue of the fact that it's inappropriate.

I'm not jazzed about
taking the heat for you two

having those kids doing
whatever they're doing in there.

But it's true. It has truth.
It's about us and the way we see things.

Mr. Crombwell's right.
We want to see something like this here.

Look, it may not be perfect,
but Charlie's gonna help me with it.

Great. That really puts my mind at ease.

Look, I'm really trying
to do the right thing, okay?

I thought that's what
you wanted me to do.

Yeah, I do,
but does it have to be this play?

If it helps your decision,

I'd be considerably less likely
to end my life if you said yes.

You've got to get it through Drama Club.

- Thank you, Mr. Gardner.
- Yeah.

You won't be disappointed.

Don't make me regret this.

So, what do we do now?

Well, don't worry about the Drama Club.
I'll work it out.

I kind of just don't know
what to say, Charlie.

No worries.

Don't fucking argue with me.

Listen, I just wanna remind you
how much this is worth!

- I know.
- Let me keep the Xanax.

- No. No Xanax. Everything.
- Charlie...

You're a dick.

No! No! No!

- Murph, give it to me.
- No! No! No, Charlie! No! No!

Excuse me, everyone.

May I have your attention?
I have an announcement to make.

Due to complications
with the insurance companies,

I will no longer be providing medication.

I'm sure this will mean that a lot of you
are done speaking to me and that's fine.

However, for those of you
that are still interested,

I will be holding sessions in my office
free of charge.

Thank you.

I'm one of those people
not speaking to you.

Well, let's get started, shall we?

- Hey, Charlie.
- Hey, Whitney. What's going on?

I don't know.

Well, I think you have
something to tell me,

but you're worried what I might think.

I guess.

I really think that
there's something wrong with me.

Why is that?

Well, I've been crying a lot.

Like, at cheer.

I've slept with almost every guy
on the football team.

All of them?

Well, maybe not all.

But all the backfield, anyway.

Well, do you like any of these guys?

Not really.

I mean, I know they don't want to be
my boyfriend or anything lame like that.

But they try to sleep with me,
and I don't want to say no to them.

Well, look, I don't know, maybe you should
take it slower, you know?

Enjoy yourself.

I mean, there are plenty of guys
at this school

that would do anything to take you
to dinner and a movie.

Give me a break. Like who?

- Hey, Whitney.
- Hi, Murphy.

Wow, you actually brought flowers.

They're pretty lame, huh?

- I've never been on a real date before.
- That's okay, Murphy.

I've never been on a real date
before either.

- By the way, I like your shirt.
- Oh, thanks.

Okay. Thanks, Charlie.

- Hey.
- Hey, Henry. How's it going, man?

The board completely ignored the petition
to get the cameras out of the lounge,

so they've basically blown us off.

Next thing you know,
they'll put in metal detectors

and start doing random locker searches.

We have to do something.
We need you, man.

I don't know, Henry.
I am already on thin ice with Gardner.

If I lead a protest,
I think he'll have me assassinated.

We need to do something.

All right, look,
if you want to lead a protest,

it's not like I'm gonna stop you, but...

Thanks, Charlie.

This is a school, not a prison.

Thanks, because I couldn't read the sign.

This is a school, not a prison.

This is a school, it's not a prison.

This is a school, not a prison.

This is a school, it's not a prison.

Cameras, protests,
insubordinate kids.

Would any of this have happened
without Charlie Bartlett?

He's all I hear about these days.

"Charlie Bartlett told my son this.

"Charlie Bartlett told my daughter
to do that."

Our lives would be a whole lot easier
if we just expelled him.

You really think that's what he deserves?

Do yourself a favor.
Don't get fired over this kid.

Look at this.

Look, I don't think there should
be cameras in the lounge, but...

I don't even know what to say.

I kind of see where
your dad's coming from, too.

Since when do you care what he thinks?

I don't know.
He's given me a break a couple of times.


Attention, all dissenting students
of Western Summit High School.

You have two minutes to disperse.

If you have not at that time,
you will be suspended.

No! See, we have a right to be here.
They can't kick us all out.

There has to be a better way
to handle this.

- Okay. Can you help me out?
- What are you gonna do?

Could you go over there and tell them
to break it up and come back tonight?


This is a school, not a prison!
This is a school, not a prison!

Hey, guys, Charlie wanted me to ask...

Charlie wants us to go home
and come back tonight, all right?


- What did he just give you?
- What?

- That's just...
- Shut it! I'm talking to my daughter.

- What is in that pharmacy bag?
- None of your business.

- Susan...
- I don't need any assistance from you

handling my daughter.
Do you understand?

Try saying one more word
and see what happens.

Come on, you really think
I don't know what's in the bag?

Yeah. I really don't think
you know what's in the bag.

Where are you going?
You're not going anywhere.


Susan Gardner, get your ass
back in the house on the count of three,

or you're grounded.

What makes you think
you're still in control of what I do?

I don't think. I know. It's a fact.
What are you looking at? One!

I would not make me choose
between you and Charlie if I were you.

You don't have to choose.
Drug dealer! Dad!

I'm your father.
This is a boy who goes to my school. Two!

Charlie Bartlett has done more
for your school than you ever will.


Hey! Don't touch her!

Oh, shit. I'm so sorry.
I didn't mean to do that.

Well, you did it. It's done.

Whatever. Let's go. Come on.

I'm really sorry I did that.

It's not your fault.

So, Charlie Bartlett assaulted you.

Well, now it's up to you.
Do you want to press charges or not?

Now, we're
gonna get these cameras out of the lounge.

We're gonna figure it out tonight.

Hey, look who it is, everybody.

Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!
- Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

How you all doing tonight?

My name is Charlie Bartlett.

If there's one thing I want you guys
to walk away with tonight,

it's that you guys don't need me.

I really mean it.

You think I'm any less screwed up
than you are?

I get up every morning
and I look in the mirror

and I try and figure out

just where I fit in.

And I draw a complete blank.

And you guys are looking to me
to tell you what to do?

You need to stop listening to me.

And stop listening to people telling you
who you should be.

And stop listening to the people
that are telling you

you're not good enough
to do the things that you want to do!

You guys have all the answers.

You're under arrest for assault.


Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

- Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!
- Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

Okay, party's over.
I want you all out of here now!

Have I made myself abundantly clear?

We want to know
what the hell's gonna happen to Charlie.

- Yeah!
- Yeah!

I'd be more worried about yourselves.

Thanks to him,
the Class of '83 Student Lounge

is now The Charlie Bartlett
Detention Center.

Bullshit! Come on!

Get the cameras!

Emergency, Western Summit High School.

Well, I guess now is as good a time
as any to tell you.

You're fired.

Come on.

Come on, Charlie.
Your mom's here to bail you out.

What's gonna happen to the other kids?

Well, there's gonna be an investigation.

But since all the cameras were destroyed,

they're gonna have a hard time
figuring out who did what.

Well, I'm prepared
to take full responsibility.

Charlie, go home.

- Are you mad?
- I don't know how to feel, Charlie.

Well, Mom, I think you should be mad
because I just got arrested

and a bunch of my friends
just trashed a building.

I am aware of that.

And I'm having a hard time being mad
at you when it just might be my fault.

No, Mom, it's not your fault.
Don't say that.

No, some of it is.

I treated you like an adult for so long,
you missed out on being a little boy.

And now we're paying for it.

With a vengeance, I'd say.

But you are just a kid, Charlie.

You understand that, right?

And that doesn't change just
because I don't know what to do with you.


I wouldn't know
what to do with me, either.

Well, I think it's safe to say
that you're grounded.

Really? How long?

That's a good question.
What is the standard?

Usually, like, 24 hours.

Well, seeing as you've acquired
a misdemeanor, we'd better make it 30.


- Get in the car.
- Okay.

- Hi.
- Hey!

How are you feeling?

A little nervous, I guess. But that's normal.

Yeah. How's your dad?

He's holed himself up in his study.

That's usually a bad sign.

You could've asked him to come,
you know.

Really? What am I going to say?

"Hey, Dad, you want to come
sit with a bunch of people

"that are really glad you were fired
and watch me on stage?"



Principal Gardner?

Hello? Principal Gardner?

It's me, sir. Charlie Bartlett.



Oh, this better be good, Charles.

I came to invite you to the play.

Well, thank you for that,
but I am just a little tied up right now.

- What are you doing?
- Venting. Just venting a little bit.

Is that your new word of the day?

Sure as shit is.

Word of the day, "venting."

Explanation. That's kind of how I deal
with my little life's frustrations. I vent.

As in "to vent, " original derivation
from the Latin exventare.


Everybody needs to vent a little
now and again, don't you figure?

Some of us are privileged enough
to vent to you in the boys' room stall,

and the rest of us just have to settle
for less conventional methods.

Like, I don't know,
a bottle of booze and a handgun.

I'm sorry. I'm not putting you on edge
with my behavior, am I?

That's all right.

Maybe you could put the gun down.

Park it, Chuck!
In case you're not aware of this,

I'm entirely displeased with you right now.

I was racking my brain to figure out why,

and I think it's because
you've taken everything from me.

Why did you do that?

Do you have anything enlightening
to say to me right now? 'Cause if you do,

I'd appreciate it if you'd spit it out.

I don't know.

Maybe some of
that post-pubescent psychobabble?

Maybe a pearl of wisdom?

I don't know what to say to you.

I mean, I don't know how to help you.
I really want to.

Come on, Doctor!
What have you got for me?

I don't know what you want from me.

I don't need you to say anything to me
and I don't need you to save me!

All right, then, what am I supposed to do
in this situation?

You know, I'm just a kid!
I'm just a stupid kid!

Stop the fucking presses.
Run that by me again. You're a what?

I'm just a kid.

I get it.

It's tough. I was a kid once, too.

Oh, fuck!

- No!
- What are you...

What the hell did you do that for?

You were going to kill yourself.

I can't kill myself.
I've got too many responsibilities.

You okay?


Never, never attack a drunk guy
with a gun. Do you understand?

- Yes, sir.
- Good.

Come on. Let's get cleaned up.

- Thank you.
- Yeah.

Hey, Charlie. See if that fits.

- Thank you.
- Sure.

How's your head? You all right?

It's okay.

Well, we should go
'cause we're going to miss the play.

I doubt she's going to be happy to see me.

No, you're her father,

and she loves you very much,
and you're totally missing it.

Fair enough.

- What about you?
- What about me, what?

What about your father?

You know, when I checked up on you,
I was half-hoping to find something

to make me feel justified
in kicking your ass out.

Then I found out about him.

There are worse crimes than tax evasion.

Yeah, but it's not worth
losing your father over.

Okay, so, stay mad at him forever.

How's that working for you?

Some days are better than others.

Come on, Monica. Just try it.
It'll give you such a high.

My God, you are, like,
totally peer-pressuring me.

I've never done it before.

Just do it. Trust me.
You know you want to.

I just don't know anymore.
She used to be my little girl.

I mean, what do you think
they're doing behind that door?

There's no way to know that.

And, besides, isn't it more interesting
to just trust them and see what happens?

I just don't understand why it's
so important to you that I do this.

'Cause it's fun and it'll feel good.

Okay, I'll give it a try.

I must say, of all the kids
applying for a summer internship,

you have quite a checkered history.

I understand. And I'm sure
you have a whole stack of people

with perfect backgrounds
and no disciplinary record.

Really, I'd do anything to work here.

Well, let's get on with the interview.
I've got a hell of a day ahead of me.

Would you like to talk about it?