Charlie Sheen (left) and Bill Murray play in messy A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III.
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III (Roman Coppola). 86 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (February 15). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III casts Charlie Sheen as a self-absorbed Los Angeles Lothario whose artistic and financial success can't quite paper over the gaping emptiness in his soul. It goes without saying that the actor is up to the challenge, except maybe for the part about artistic success.
But Charles Swan III is not Charlie Sheen. Swan is a graphic designer in go-go 70s Hollywood whose life becomes a raging sea when his girlfriend Ivana (Katheryn Winnick, currently on screen in Stand Up Guys) leaves him. A car accident lands our hero in the hospital, where he awaits the results of some tests and plunges into various self-indulgent fantasies, as does the movie.
This is the second feature by CQ writer-director Roman Coppola - son of Francis, brother of Sofia and cousin of Jason Schwartzman, who turns up in Lenny Bruce drag as Swan's best friend, Kirby Star - and it's a mess. I liked CQ a lot, but this one barely works.
Sheen's well cast as a lost boy pretending to be a man, and Winnick is terrific as a character who really only exists to call Swan on his bullshit. But most of Charles Swan III is given over to undercooked fantasies of Sheen/Swan dancing on his own grave or being hunted by women with murder in their hearts. It's not a statement, it's a shrug.