Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) - ★★★½

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writer: Stephen Chbosky (Screenplay and Novel)
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, Nina Dobrev

I really enjoyed The Perks of being a Wallflower, even if it was ridiculous at times. You'll find that it's a cut above the average rom-com, but very overrated. The major problem I had with the film was that none of it seemed real, the characters and the dialogue reeked phoniness. Stephen Chbosky just couldn't convince me that these are real people, which in the end led to a total disconnect from the characters. However, the acting, music, and cinematography were superb. When I look back at this film, I smile.

A freshman starting at high school, Charlie (Logan Lerman), has serious mental issues over the death of his Aunt and best friend. He gets bullied at school and doesn't fit in anywhere... until he meets two of the most 'adult' teenagers in the history of cinema. They are Patrick (Ezra Miller), and Sam (Emma Watson), brother and sister who belong to a group of misfit intellectuals and outcasts. They introduce Charlie to the group, make him one of them, and lead him on a journey to happiness and self-discovery.

Once again, Ezra Miller astounds me.
Right off the bat, Ezra Miller was the standout! He played a gay teenager who is in a secret relationship with another student (whose father would beat the crap out of him if he ever found out). Yes, Patrick was the life and the soul of the movie, who proved to be the most human and likable of the lot. Logan Lerman was also fantastic in the leading role, proving that he can play a character that is years younger than himself. Emma Watson gave a fine performance, but had occasional lapses with her accent. In the end, all three of them had excellent chemistry that drove the movie into a really entertaining spectacle.

Emma Watson finally breaks free from Harry Potter!
There were some absolutely stunning scenes. The greatest scene came when Sam stood on the back of the truck while the song Heroes by David Bowie played. While driving through the tunnel, it looked a little like the "I'm Flying" scene from Titanic. It's scenes like this that make it a cut above every other rom-com. The music and cinematography really was the saving grace of the film. When "Come on Eileen" played at the Prom, I just wanted to get up and dance. Ahh, if only my Senior prom had good music. All we got was Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown. 

It's unfortunate that the film didn't seem realistic. I just couldn't get past how fake everything was. The characters are supposed to be teenagers, yet they come across as an adult's impression of a teenager. Not to mention, I think most of the characters were pretty despicable human beings (with the exception of Mary-Elizabeth and Charlie). At one point, all of Charlie's friends abandoned him and wouldn't talk to him for weeks. I think that's just cruel, to outcast someone you've been so close to for months. Then Charlie does something good for them, so they let him back in the group. If you ask me, that makes them all pretty shallow.

So yeah, I liked the movie. It's one of the better 'young-adult' movies to come out in recent years. I wouldn't put it up there with the greatest, simply because the characters and story came across as phony. It's very well made and well acted, with a soundtrack that blew me away. Most people think Perks of Being a Wallflower is fantastic... I just think it's a very good movie.


  1. I agree with you that the casting is good in this. All three leads work very well together and I liked them. I just didnt care for their character's development in this. Great review

    1. That was my main problem with the film exactly. Lack of development and realism led to me not caring so much for their problems.