Goodbye Charlie Bright (2001)
Goodbye Eastenders, Hello Charlie Bright
Star of "Goodbye Charlie Bright" Paul Nicholls made his name as Joe in "Eastenders" and he is not the only Eastender in the cast with the likes of Phil Daniels, Jamie Foreman, Nicola Stapleton and Tameka Empson being instantly recognizable. They are not the only ones because there are more "Eastenders" such as Phil Daniels, Richard Driscoll and Edna Doré and to be honest "Goodbye Charlie Bright" is not too different to "Eastenders". By that I mean a not lot happens then finally there is some drama, a moment of violence and repercussions. And that is the trouble with "Goodbye Charlie Bright" because for 60 minutes nothing much happens and then finally a storyline appears which to be frank is not that interesting.
Charlie (Paul Nicholls) and his mates are a bunch of trouble makers, they streak through the streets, steal handbags, break into cars and also houses but there is something inside Charlie which wants more, to escape from the life he leads and better himself. But something is stopping as he can't move on thanks to his friend Justin (Roland Manookian) who depends upon him. When their friend Francis (Danny Dyer - Greenfingers) tells them he is going to be a dad they are not that interested until they discover his girlfriend Julie (Nicola Stapleton) getting it on with local tough guy Eddie (Phil Daniels) in his car. It leads to a chain of events with repercussions and maybe the opportunity for Charlie to finally move on as he meets Blondie (Dani Behr).
"Goodbye Charlie Bright" opens in startling style as we watch Charlie, Justin and their friend Tommy streak through the local estate, steal a football, and get chased before getting away. It grabs your attention as does the following scene where they mug a young woman and her fat boyfriend establishing the rogue-ish nature of this young gang. But for an hour that is all we get, more of the same as we meet various characters from dodgy Tony who thinks he is a cowboy to Hector who has managed to make good and is living it large. We do learn that Charlie feels there should be more and in the pretty Blondie he sees an opportunity for something different but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
Eventually after almost an hour we finally get what is the story or at least the drama as Charlie discovers that Francis' girlfriend Julie is cheating on him. Things spiral out of control as people get hurt and killed and the truth comes out about how Charlie feels when it comes to his best friend Justin. But to be honest whilst there is drama it's not that interesting and in the end quite predictable.
In the end "Goodbye Charlie Bright" ends up being more entertaining playing spot the actor and when you have Jamie Foreman playing a cowboy loving Londoner it is quite amusing. But whilst you have the various actors from "Eastenders" as well as the likes of Danny Dyer, David Thewlis and Dani Behr all playing slightly quirky characters none of them are that interesting. Not even Charlie is interesting and it almost seems that at times this movie relies too heavily on the good looks and likeability of Paul Nicholls to carry it.
What this all boils down to is that "Goodbye Charlie Bright" is an okay British movie which will entertain whilst you watch it, especially with so many recognizable faces in it. But it isn't a movie which you will feel is good enough to demand a second viewing.
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