“The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” written, directed and based on a book by Stephen Chbosky, is a heart-wrenching coming of age tale. It’s the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman) a young man who’s about to start high school.
Charlie who serves as the film’s narrator is a loner, for reasons not revealed until later on. He’s a smart kid with a good family and aspirations to be a writer.
Kids can be mean and they are. On the first day of high school poor Charlie makes one friend, his English teacher (Paul Rudd). So, basically, Charlie finds himself miserable, alone, and slowly counting away the days until graduation.
Enter Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), an amazing step brother and sister duo. Suddenly Charlie has friends and everything changes.
Even his relationship with his former only friend, his English teacher, improves. Life looks good for Charlie for a brief beautiful moment, he is (as he puts it) “infinite.”
But Charlie’s not your average high school boy. Even with his new wonderful group of friends and experiences we see that he still tends to stand back and watch. He is (as the title suggests) a wallflower. He observes, he notices, he feels, and he always has.
As we learn more and more about Charlie’s traumatic past (sorry I don’t believe in spoilers), it becomes more and more impressive that he is the young man that he is in the most inspiring way.
Logan Lerman’s performance is equally inspiring. His transformation from quiet kid to confident young man to psychologically damaged kid and back to confident young man is seamless, beautiful, subtle, and touching.
Emma Watson and Ezra Miller are a completely surprising dynamic duo. They bring out the best in each other and the best in Charlie. Their wisdom of what is truly important is beyond their years, yet they still maintain the enthusiasm of youth.
What is perhaps the most impressive part of this film is that it manages to avoid all of the modern stereotypes. It’s a refreshing trip down memory lane to a time without hipsters and smartphone, when teenagers were teenagers with all of their idiosyncrasies, hormones, and some incredibly troubled childhoods to boot.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be inspired by the strength of the human spirit.
…and go CARDS!!!