HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  3 Times a Charm Be careful what you wish forBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Letia Clouston
Stars: Lexi Giovagnoli, Carlo Marks, Noelle Perris, Michelle Glavan, Maxwell Glick, Kasey Marr, Matthew Thompson, Viktor Argo, Rae Latt, Vincent Giovagnoli, Tansy Alexander, Tom Wade, Fernando Rivera, Steven A. Brennan, Clint Jung
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Emma Neuman (Lexi Giovagnoli) is a studious, straight-A student harbouring a hopeless crush on Chris Duvall (Carlo Marks), the most popular guy in school. She finds herself facing a dilemma when Chris asks her to help him cheat on the history final in order to save his football scholarship. Around the same time, Emma comes to the aid of a strange homeless woman (Tansy Alexander) who turns out to be something akin to her fairy godmother. She bestows Emma with a magical necklace that gives her three chances to relive the events of the following day and see the consequences of her decisions.

On paper 3 Times a Charm must comes across like a teen variation on Groundhog Day (1993), a trick Richard Curtis pulled off only recently with About Time (2013). However, the tradition of such second chance wish-fulfilment fables dates back a lot further than the much-beloved Bill Murray comedy classic. An independent Canadian outing from ambitious indie auteur Letia Clouston, director of the popular web series Broken Toy and interesting behind-the-scenes in Hollywood thriller In the Dark (2006), this modest but engaging teen fantasy punches above its weight. While the low-budget shows through the sitcom level production values, Clouston and co-writer Michael Matteo have crafted a screenplay that is snappy and smart. Its central message draws explicitly upon an oft-paraphrased quote from philosopher-poet George Santayana, namely: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Screenplay analysts often put forward the notion that while male-driven stories chart the protagonists journey towards gaining empathy, female-driven stories are about women learning to assert themselves. Although somewhat of a simplification on general terms, in this instance that is more or less what happens initially. Emma’s attempt to pass her test results off as the work of Chris ends in disaster, whereupon she uses the magic necklace to grab a second chance. This time she puts her own needs first, only to end up alienating all her friends and wrecking her life all over again, precipitating the crucial third do-over. The plot stumbles somewhat given Emma’s so-called friends come out looking like a bunch of snarky, lazy, two-faced, self-centred jerks, only the heroine does not seem to notice. She does learn more about Chris and his personal problems as a result of picking up some seriously bad life lessons from his amoral, womanising father.

Gradually, through much trial and error, Emma does gain self-respect but also learns how to balance that with a crucial ability to nurture and encourage others. In keeping with the quote from Santayana, she learns how to learn from peripheral events, picking up clues that help solve daily problems. While less than subtle and undeniably cheesy in parts, the central moral comes across as rather charming including Emma’s use of a basketball game to teach Chris all about the American War of Independence. On the other hand, the antics of Emma’s prank-loving little brother (Vincent Giovagnoli) wear very thin. Lead actress Lexi Giovagnoli is an engaging presence and co-star Carlo Marks serves his role well, despite looking suspiciously mature for a high school student, but several supporting players come across as either stilted or shrill. Still, it is a film with its heart in the right place and the closing twist is really rather sweet.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1995 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: