The Perks of Being a Wallflower


No matter how popular you were in high school, at some point you were the new person, the freshman, or the one that no one notices. Growing up in the eighties, we had some great (parents don't understand us and being a teenager is hell movies), done by John Hughes, who tapped into the end of the universe crisis's we all have as teenagers, when the world is small and our hearts were huge and exposed.

Charlie (Logan Lerman), is a troubled young man who is about to enter high school as a dreaded freshman. Charlie has some issues he is dealing with. He apparently just lost a friend to suicide that he writes to and the death of his aunt in an accident, when he was younger with whom he had a close relationship, haunts him. Charlie is dreading his freshman year and already counting down before the first, his days left at high school.

His older brother is a football star at Penn State and his older sister is apparently not going to help him in the social department. He is picked on and his fears of a lonely high school experience look like they might actually be true. But nature has a way of joining people together and in shop class, he sees a rather interesting fellow who is doing a imitation for the students of their teacher for the year. His name is Patrick (wonderfully played by Ezra Miller) and he is part of a click of wallflowers. Patrick is a free spirit, very smart and full of energy. Charlie, who is silent as a church mouse,is intrigued. At a high School football game, Patrick invites Charlie to sit with him and his stepsister Sam ( Emma Watson), who Charlie almost instantly has a crush on. Patrick sees that he might need a friend. At a party after the game Charlie is initiated by this click of new friends. He eats his first pot brownie and at last he feels like he is no longer alone.

Sam has had apparently several bad boyfriends who do not understand her and Charlie listens because he cares for her; something the other boys do not seem to do. Patrick as it turns out, is in a secret relationship with the star quarterback of the football team. When Charlie learns of this, he promise his friend that he will never tell. The cast is all very good here and like all the good coming of age films, captures those moments of uncertainty very well. I had read that the cast got along during filming and it shows. Give credit to the author of the book the film is based on and first time director Stephen Chbosky, for setting the tone in the small town near Pittsburgh where he grew up and it's set. He is young enough to remember the pain we feel and hopes that you are not too old to forget. This reminded me of another coming of age film set near Pittsburgh, the wonderful (Adventureland). (Lerman) is very good as the lead in this film. He kind of reminded me of a young (Christian Bale) and that's a compliment. They were in 3:10 to Yuma together.As the troubled and conflicted Sam (Watson) hits the right note and you will totally get why Charlie would fall for this girl that is so much more than she seems. There is the typical jerk mean kids who throw their barbs, but our protagonists forge onward; as we all must. This is a gem of a film, with a good heart and has the right message of hope and recovering from tragedy and damage. We all must move on eventually, the best we can.

Some of the reveals might not come as a surprise, but they are effective and you will root for these kids.Like all good stories like this about youth,The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about breaking free of hometown and parents, as we all must take the leap into the scary big adult world.These are smart kids, the wallflowers and they are very aware, more than most of the ones who have it easier, that this is an important time.They take drugs, experiment with sex , make somber tapes that they share that convey the hopes and dreams of them.It may not be the most original movie, but this is a well done film that you should seek out.You should see this movie.

watch the trailer: