I read somewhere that for a decade and a half there was a vast void in the nineties where there were no teen movies like "Sixteen Candles", whereas in the last four or five years the genre has seen a resurgeance. I'm not sure, since I'm not a film history buff, but I have noticed that a lot of the teen movies in the last few years remind me a lot of the ones I grew up with in the 1980's. Charlie Bartlet is such a movie.
Charlie is not Ferris Beuler, but it is the kind of movie I can see someone growing up and loving with the amount that I love that movie. Charlie is not perfect, but for most of the movie he has a serene zen like confidence mixed with a shadowed insecurity beneath it that allows him to be admired and approachable at the same time. It is a comedy but it has a healthy dose of reality mixed into the whole thing.
It is difficult to give away much of the plot without spoiling it since the salient details are doled out wisely a bit at a time, but one can still learn a lot from the trailer and I'll use that as a template. Basically, the plot of the movie is about a teenager who is expelled from every school he is sent to and finally ends up in public high school. To fit in, he sells the psych meds his on call psychiatrist gives him. But the story really isn't about teen drug dealing. Its about identity, coming of age, and an understanding of how to forge your own role in society. In short, thematically, it is right up my ally.
And I liked it. I must say I'm not super enthusiastic about it. It isn't one of my five star netflix movies, but I still liked it a great deal, and would recommend that anyone see it at least once.