The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Isabelle Jong, Entertainment Editor

Directed and adapted for screenplay by Stephen Chbosky from his best-selling novel, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” follows thoughtful, socially awkward teen Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he attempts to break free from the sidelines and navigate the obstacles of high school society. “Perks” strays from the status quo of a plethora of dull and predictable high school movies by effectively and honestly capturing the poignancy of being a teenage outcast. While Charlie grapples with typical matters of teen insecurity and doubt, there is an under layer of personal trauma and emotion that adds depth to “Perks”, making it far more important and entertaining than the standard teenage-based film. Chbosky has thoroughly satisfied the legion of faithful fans of the book who have eagerly awaited the film’s arrival, delivering a script that shines with witty quips and fast-paced hilarity, balancing tenderhearted moments of tragedy with intense scenes of adolescent angst, and encapsulating the toils and triumphs of coming of age. Fans of the “Harry Potter” movie franchise will delight in Emma Watson’s charming performance as Sam, the free-spirited dream girl who steals Charlie’s heart. On the topic of thievery, Ezra Miller often stole the show as Patrick, Sam’s openly-gay half-brother, delivering a flawlessly uproarious performance punctuated by hysterical one-liners.
Charlie’s friendships with Sam and Patrick and their enthusiastic efforts to draw him out of his shell lead him along a road of new experiences and adventures both exhilarating and devastating. Far from a simple comedy or coming-of-age drama, the film highlights the struggles of teen isolation and intimidation while dealing with the subjects of depression, homophobia, and suicide in a manner that is moving but not overly dramatic or gloomy.
Touching and heartrendingly honest, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is filled with many laughs and some tears as well. Just as the film’s tongue-in-cheek screenplay has made it a box-office smash, its refreshing elements of poignancy ensure its place as an instant classic.