Character Susan Gardner
Directed by Jon Poll
Written by Gustin Nash
Other cast Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Robert Downey Jr., Tyler Hilton
Release date 22 February 2008 (USA)
Running time 97 minutes


Charlie Bartlett is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Jon Poll. The screenplay by Gustin Nash focuses on a teenager who begins to dispense therapeutic advice and prescription drugs to the student body at his new high school in order to become popular. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on May 1, 2007, and was shown at the Cannes Film Market, the Maui Film Festival, and the Cambridge Film Festival before going into theatrical release in the United States and Canada on August 3.


The son of a depressed but doting mother (Davis) and a father who is serving time for tax evasion, wealthy teenager Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) — after being expelled from several private academies for various infractions — enrols in a public school run by embittered alcoholic Principal Nathan Gardner (Downey Jr.). Unable to fit in with most of his fellow students, Charlie is diagnosed with ADHD. He forms an alliance with school bully Murphy Bivens (Hilton) and offers him half the proceeds from the sale of a variety of prescription drugs Charlie obtains by feigning physical and emotional symptoms during sessions with different psychiatrists. Before long, Charlie’s natural charm and likability positions him as the school’s resident therapist, offering advice and drugs within the confines of the boys’ bathroom. He begins to date the principal’s rebellious daughter, Susan (Dennings). Due to a misunderstanding as to the nature of what Charlie gives Susan that causes Principal Gardner to confront the boy, Charlie gets arrested. Once liberated, he confronts Gardner and ultimately helps him, same as he did with his fellow students.


Anton Yelchin would eventually die on June 19, 2016, at the age of 27. Kat never fails to remember her friend every year on the occasion of his birthday and/or death, posting to her socials photographs and words of love.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays Kat’s father in the movie, would play Tony Stark/Iron Man in the superhero’s titular movie the following year, effectively giving birth to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kat would later join the MCU, as Darcy Lewis, in Thor (2011).