The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a beautiful story about life and the demons that come to meet us at the front door every day of our lives and ultimately what is done in the hopes of overcoming them. An adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name written and directed by the novel’s author, Stephen Chbosky makes the movie all the more worth watching.
In a film that is in a number of ways reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s The Breakfast Club, Logan Lerman (Noah) goes above and beyond as the film’s protagonist Charlie. A troubled high school freshman hunted by death while also being an extreme Introvert. However, challenged by his parents he embarks on a journey to participate in life rather than sit back and simply observe and with the loving support of his older siblings (Nina Dobrev and Zane Holts) Charlie is able to do just that. After befriending his English teacher played by Paul Rudd, Charlie courageously decides to attend the high school football game which he finds to be rather stupid until he meets two seniors with unique opinions about the world. Together Sam and Patrick (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) along with their friends help Charlie to experience the world how it was always meant to be experienced. The world complete with high school parties, college applications and a much-needed weekly reenactment of Rocky Horror Picture Show the film is a true triumphed.
The film offers a fresh take on the all too familiar coming of age story line while still keeping to the traditional outline. The creative talents of Lerman, Watson, and Miller are able to breathe new life into a film adaptation that is as raw and as captivating as the original work. It is a story that if allowed by its audience members will change their perception of life forever and will have them singing Simple Minds’ Don’t Forget About Me for a whole new reason.
As far as my personal thoughts on the novel itself, they are extremely similar to my thoughts expressed about the film adaptation. If anything I believe that the film added to my overall love of the story and its characters. I remember immediately connecting with Charlie on all different levels one being that I personally am an introvert. I connected with Sam and her all around thirst she has for life and to be more than people see her be. I concreted with Patrick and his overall feeling of wanted to be accepted and not having to hide who you truly are or how you feel. Although, the story is one with some very hard subject matter it is absolutely beautiful. It is a young Adult novel that refuses to sacrifice truth in favor of sugar-coating. It is a story that needs to be shared with the world and that needs to remember forever. And, in that moment, I swear we were infinite…