Movie review: ‘Charles Swan’ blurs line between fantasy and pathetic reality
Published: March 1, 2013 11:14AM
Updated: February 28, 2013 02:45PM
Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen, right) tries to make up with his girlfriend, in a fantasy sequence from the comedy "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III." The film also stars Jason Schwartzman (left) and Bill Murray (center). Courtesy A24 Films

Are you as bored as I am with Charlie Sheen playing dirtbag characters, as he does in his sitcoms “Two and a Half Men” and “Anger Management”? Characters who are one degree removed from Sheen’s real-life public persona as a substance-abusing, womanizing egomaniac?

That’s what is served up in “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.” Writer-director Roman Coppola (remember when their dads made “Apocalypse Now” together?) takes a surrealist approach to the breakup drama of the title character (Sheen), an artist and boss of his own ad agency, whose girlfriend, Ivana (Katheryn Winnick), has walked out after Charles’ latest infidelity. The stress lands Sheen, er, Swan in the hospital, where he’s visited by his patient sister Isabella (Patricia Arquette), his morose business manager (Bill Murray) and his enabling stand-up comic best friend (Jason Schwartzman).

Coppola (who co-wrote “Moonrise Kingdom”) works in some clever flourishes, including flashbacks, animation, fantasy sequences and even a dance number, in his depiction of Swan’s fractured psyche. But in the end, he is at the mercy of Sheen’s self-absorption, which produces on-screen antics that aren’t nearly as interesting as anybody here seems to believe.;


‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’

Opens today at the Tower Theatre; rated R for language and some nudity; 86 minutes.