“The challenge is you need to identify and separate the layers of your reality, your imagination, your dream state and this nightmare,” psychotherapist McMillian (Eric Roberts) advises Trevor Jacobs (Toby Hemingway), whose messy, indecipherable head trips make up the duration of “Charlie, Trevor and a Girl Savannah.”
Savannah (Emily Meade), Trevor’s girlfriend, is possibly missing, possibly dead and possibly imaginary. He’s in treatment to figure out what’s what. The film is unique in that it uses a therapy session to frame the story of an unreliable narrator, yet all the psychobabble sheds absolutely no light on him and what makes him tick.
Even with his mental instability, Trevor is a caricature: a rich, self-absorbed playboy heir. Charlie (Ty Hodges, who also writes and directs) and Savannah assume the roles of the quirky black sidekick and the damsel in distress, respectively, revolving their complicated lives around an unremarkable straight white male, just like their counterparts in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”
Flashily shot and cut like a long-form music video, the film is merely an empty vessel for a Guy Ritchie-esque stylistic exercise. Hodges’ overkill direction doesn’t distract from a screenplay that beats around the bush. Once the style has burned out, there’s nothing left but a cop-out conclusion.
“Charlie, Trevor and a Girl Savannah.”
No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Playing: At Arena Cinema, Hollywood.