MovieChat Forums > The Education of Charlie Banks (2007) Discussion > Was there a single likeable character in...

Was there a single likeable character in this film? **Spoilers**


I enjoyed the film but it struck me as I was watching it that I didn't like any of the characters. At a push, perhaps Danny had some redeeming qualities but (for me) he was the best of a bad bunch.

Charlie was pretty spineless for the most part and spent the majority of his time sulking, although standing up to Mick in the end was commendable. Leo was an ass, as evidenced by the way he behaved with the key and the girls in the group were almost as guilty by their failure to challenge him (their attempts before Mick assaults Leo seem cursory at best). Mary was quite happy to string Charlie along and although I can't blame her for breaking up with Mick, her dismissive tone ("I had fun but I have to write my paper now") makes it difficult to feel any sympathy for her. Danny was harbouring a fugitive and made Charlie guilty by association but as misguided as his loyalty was, at least it was honourable (he called the police himself when he realised Mick was lying to him). Mick, well that goes without saying...

It seems incongruous that I should like a film when I didn't like the characters, but I suppose this film is more than than the sum of it's parts.

"A little nonsense now and then, cherished by the wisest men"

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Actually, since I love the movie, I like all the characters. Leo least of all because I can't stand jerks like him. But I think they're all recognizable human beings. I don't expect people to behave as they should all the time. And frankly, if they did, that's the end of storytelling. Think about it. Stories exists because people struggle and have flaws and do stupid stuff. That's just life.
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I admit that the film contains genuine portrayals of everyday life, that's not my issue. In fact, I don't really have an issue. I just think that despite the flaws and stupid acts, you'd (usually) expect to see elements of a character that you like - I couldn't see that in this film. I won't go through it point by point again but Leo and the girls are so far up their own backsides that they almost annoyed me and Mick's a bully so that only leaves Charlie and Danny - who, despite being the best of the bunch, were pretty much unappealing. I should have been rooting for Charlie in the fight at the end, but found myself feeling strangely apathetic.

I have no problem with flawed characters - as you say, films would be boring without conflict - but I do want to become invested in a character. Consider Hannibal Lecter, one of the most evil characters to grace the screen. He is the very essence of a flawed person yet we are still drawn to him because he intrigues us.

I'm struggling to illustrate my point here but I'll end by saying that I did like the film, this is just a minor niggle.



"A little nonsense now and then, cherished by the wisest men"

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Interesting thought. I have to agree that Danny is the only character who is close to likeable.

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Huh... I really liked Mick. I was pulling for him the entire movie. I see so many posts about people considering that he was a sociopath and I disagree. He knows right from wrong, but has a hard time controlling himself. He has a (albeit misguided) sense of morality, otherwise he wouldn't have stood up to Leo regarding the key girl.

His pain is palpable. He yearns for the life he never had. Could've had, perhaps, if circumstances were different.

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I think the film is pretty realistic that's why the characters aren't "perfect" and you don't have the typical good guys. I liked all the characters even Mick who was a psycho.

I think Mary had every right to treat Mick that way. After he beat Leo she realized something was wrong with him and she was right.

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