Roman Coppola’s new movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, which stars Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, and Aubrey Plaza, made its debut at the Rome Film Festival yesterday, and critics aren’t exactly wild about it. Coppola, who co-wrote The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom with Wes Anderson, wrote and directed Charles Swan solo. It stars Charlie Sheen as a partyin’, womanizing graphic designer (a character that’s surprisingly not based on Sheen in any way). Schwartzman and Murray play supporting roles as Sheen’s comedian best friend and accountant, respectively.
Variety writes that “Swan is more of a doodle than a fully formed idea, though not necessarily less enjoyable for it, since it was clearly intended to be an undisciplined, anything-goes kinda story” and “Supporting thesps are all solid but likewise boxed in by the screenplay’s limitations.” The Hollywood Reporter also praises the supporting cast but blasts the script, “With such an in-house cast of extended Coppola family sparklers, one would think things couldn’t go too wrong in the comedy department, but they have little chance to oil the wheels of a creaky script written around Sheen… But as a latter-day Being John Malkovich (where Sheen appeared in a brief self-parody), the film lacks style, wit and originality.” Indie Wire writes, “We like Coppola as a director, but wish this were a story and a character that better deserved his idiosyncratic, energetic visual sensibility.” It’s a bummer critics aren’t liking Charles Swan because the cast (minus Charlie Sheen) and Coppola’s past as a writer indicated that it’d be a promising movie. We’ll just have to hold out for Bill Murray and Aubrey Plaza to make something great together someday.