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Movie review: 'Charles Swan' blurs line between fantasy and pathetic reality

Published March 1, 2013 11:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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. movies@sltrib.com; http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III'

Opens Friday, March 1, at the Tower Theatre; rated R for language and some nudity; 86 minutes.