Robert Downey Jr.'s Flopped Movie Was 2000s Sex Education But Failed Where Show Succeeded

Robert Downey Jr.'s Flopped Movie Was 2000s Sex Education But Failed Where Show Succeeded
Image credit: Legion-Media/Netflix

This movie from 2007 is too similar to Sex Education, but it loses out to the series in every way

Netflix 's Sex Education became an instant hit upon its release. The series began as a story about shy high school student Otis, played by Asa Butterfield. Using the knowledge gained from his mother, a sexologist, the main character, along with his friend Maeve, consulted peers and helped them deal with problems in their intimate lives.

Without falling into a mentoring tone and without losing the irony, the series talks about important issues.

How do you open up to your parents or defend your interests? How to help someone without hurting a friend? How to accept non-reciprocal feelings? How to stop being a bully when your own father's disapproval turns you into a bully?

There are many such questions in the series, and the answers to them, as in life, are not immediately found by the characters.

Robert Downey Jr.'s Flopped Movie Was 2000s Sex Education But Failed Where Show Succeeded - image 1

The popularity of Sex Education can also be explained by the fact that it openly discusses topics that are rarely the main idea in other shows. While the basic premise of the show seems quite unique, a movie was released back in 2007 that is very reminiscent of Sex Education.

Charlie Bartlett, starring Robert Downey Jr, just like Sex Education tells the story of an awkward and insecure teenager who gains popularity when he enters a new school.

Just like Otis, he comes into conflict with the principal, played by Downey Jr. And just like Sex Education’s therapy classes lead to protests at the school and the principal's dismissal, in Charlie Bartlett, it all ends the same way.

However, unlike Sex Education, Charlie Bartlett did not become a prominent representative of its genre and was lost among hundreds of teen comedies.

One of the reasons for this was the fact that, unlike the series, the movie did not allow for the proper development of what at first glance appeared to be bold and sharp themes, partly because of the limited time available.

The series with the main theme that can easily become vulgar, seasoned with humor mixed with serious social overtones, turned out to be the object of universal love, unlike Charlie Bartlett.

It united those who were a bully or went unnoticed all through school, those who were the most popular classmate or remained in the shadows all the time.

And, most importantly, it showed today's 16-year-olds that somewhere in the British outback, teenagers are learning to respect other people's boundaries and build their own, to correct mistakes and prevent new ones.