On Friday, July 30th, Zac Efron’s first notable foray into films of a dramatic will debut with the silver screen premiere of Charlie St. Cloud. Based on the novel The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, by Ben Sherwood, the story takes place in the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and relies heavily on Bay State themed elements throughout the book. In addition to the numerous references to nearby towns and local geography–the town of Revere, Swampscott, the Saugus River, Devereux Beach, Route 1A, and the Charles River, the Red Sox also play an important part of the storyline itself, with allusions to specific players, games, and descriptions of elements of Fenway Park and the surrounding area.
Despite all this, however, the movie was not shot in Massachusetts, nor New New England, nor even in the United States, but rather in scenic and woodsy British Columbia, Canada. Though the director, Burr Steers, told the Boston Herald back in the spring of 2009 that he hoped to be able to film here, Universal Pictures made a budgetary decision that made the Pacific Coast location more palatable than remaining true to the story’s literary roots.
While the screenplay was not changed the reflect the new location, locals who see the film will be able to tell you unequivocally, that Vancouver looks nothing like Marblehead. Instead, those who appreciated the local connections laid out in the novel will have to take comfort in a plethora of Red Sox paraphernalia and area references that will seem more creatively embellished than vaguely familiar, at best.