By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 4, 2010 at 11:17AM
Universal has released the trailer for weepie Charlie St. Cloud (below), due in theaters July 30.
Is there an audience for this kind of "straight" melodrama? The sailing milieu is timely--our hero (Zac Efron) gives up sailing when his brother is killed in a fluke accident, then falls for a round-the-world sailor not unlike Abby Sunderland. And I liked actor-turned-director Burr Steers' Igby Goes Down. He went on to direct episodes of The L Word and Weeds as well as 17 Again, also starring Efron (48 metascore), which I missed.
This movie, adapted from the Ben Sherwood novel The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by a string of screenwriters (including James Schamus, Lewis Colick and Craig Pearce) seems designed to pluck the heartstrings. Obviously I am not the young-girl demo for Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers such as Dear John and The Last Song, although I did cry buckets at The Notebook, which was well-directed by Nick Cassavetes (now playing a dick director in Entourage), who assembled a strong cast: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner and his mom Gena Rowlands.
I know Efron is catnip for the girls, but while he acquitted himself credibly in Hairspray and Me and Orson Welles, I'm not yet fully convinced.