There are two ways to watch Charlie Wilson's War. The first way is to watch it like we watch most movies -- go in to be entertained, to experience something outside of our scope of experience -- to leave our lives at the door and encounter something different. The other way is to be critical, having researched the situation upon which the film was based, to see how it diverges, and then decide whether the divergence is acceptable within the realm of what actually happened. One way will give you an entertaining experience. The other will probably result in the film getting under your skin.
I usually get pretty tense over large leaps in the truth. To this day, I grumble at the thought of Girl Interrupted, and the fact that they could insinuate that a character based on a real, live person could be indirectly involved in another's death when it simply isn't true. With Charlie Wilson's War, however, I wasn't completely weighed down by derailments from truth. Perhaps this is due to being warned after reading reviews like James' and Kim's, maybe it was due to the film more omitting facts than completely changing them, or perhaps it was the light delivery of the subject. Whatever the case, Charlie Wilson's War is an enjoyable film weighed down by its decisions of omission.