Plot: Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most beautiful books I read throughout my high school experience. Stephen Chbosky’s novel is an honest story of life in high school and how the world is simultaneously a beautifully happy and tragically sad place. Chbosky wrote the screenplay and directed the film, therefore the film follows the spirit of his novel with great earnestness. Charlie, the protagonist, is a sympathetic and observant character surrounded by an eccentric cast of friends and family. The movie has someone for everyone- no matter who you are, there is a character you can identify with and understand.
Acting: This is easily the most impressive aspect of the film. Logan Lerman portrays Charlie with sincerity and remarkably endearing charm – it’s hard to take your eyes off him, no matter the scene. Ezra Miller also has a fantastic performance as Charlie’s friend, Patrick, brilliantly blending comedic timing and genuine vulnerability to develop a dynamic sense of character. Emma Watson does well as Sam, but the two men clearly took the dominance in the film. However, I was glad to see her acting with her gut as opposed to her eyebrows, I think she has a lot of potential for great things post-Potter.
The supporting cast is filled with strong performances from Paul Rudd, Nina Dobrev and Mae Whitman. There is no sense of star power overriding the newcomers in this film, which is great. I feel as though Chobsky successfully made the focus on Charlie, not the famous people who populated the cast.
Soundtrack: A fabulous soundtrack that was addressed with great care, honoring the value of music in the book. Love of music is a central theme within Charlie and Sam’s relationship, and the movie utilizes an expansive amount of musical pop-culture to tell the story.
Similar to the sound and vibe of Juno‘s famous soundtrack, Perks hosts a contemporary track-list:
1. The Samples – Could It Be Another Change
2. Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
3. Galaxie 500 – Tugboat
4. New Order – Temptation
5. The Innocence Mission – Evensong
6. The Smiths – Asleep
7. Cracker – Low
8. Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot
9. XTC – Dear God
10. Cocteau Twins – Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops
11. Michael Brook – Charlie’s Last Letter
12. David Bowie – Heroes
Verdict: One of the best movie adaptations of a book I have ever watched. Logan Lerman might even get an award nomination for this performance, his performance is so heart-wrenchingly impressive. This is a must-see film, especially if you have read the novel.
I’d give it a 9.5 out of 10.