The buddy comedy is one of cinema’s most popular genres, but also one of its most well-worn. As a result, filmmakers are constantly trying to find new angles for stories about two friends. One of the more unique riffs on the genre in recent years is “Brian and Charles,” Jim Archer’s crowd-pleasing mockumentary that premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and released its first trailer today.
“Brian and Charles” tells the story of a Welsh inventor who builds his own friend, a robot named Charles who happens to have a taste for cabbage. While the film contains plenty of charming robot comedy, audiences have loved its ability to address real themes of loneliness, isolation, and depression. The movie is adapted from a 2017 short film of the same name, which earned Archer the top prize at the Cannes Young Director Awards. The feature-length version received strong reviews at Sundance this year for its ability to pack a lot of very real heart into its wacky premise, leading Focus Features to acquire the film and give it a summer theatrical release.
“Brian and Charles” stars David Earl and Chris Hayward, with Louise Brealey, James Michie, and Nina Sosanya rounding out the cast. Jim Archer directed the film, which marks his feature directorial debut. He worked off of a script written by David Earl and Chris Hayward. Rupert Majendie produced the film, with Damian Jones, Mary Burke, Lauren Dark, and Ollie Madden serving as executive producers.
The film’s official synopsis from Focus Features reads “‘Brian and Charles’ follows Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who spends his days building quirky, unconventional contraptions that seldom work. Undeterred by his lack of success, Brian attempts his biggest project yet. Three days, a washing machine, and various spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and has an obsession with cabbages. What follows is a humorous and entirely heartwarming story about friendship, family, finding love, and letting go.”
Focus Features will release “Brian and Charles” in theaters on Friday, June 17. You can watch the new trailer below: