I just scooped this up. This movie is only from a few years ago, but based on a book that came out when I was a kid and meant a lot for my friends back then.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower maintains the fine tradition of movies like Running with Scissors and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in its savvy, sensitive telling of high schoolers coming of age and coming to terms. Though it enters some dark emotional territory as freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) connects with a clique of older students, the smart sense of humor threaded throughout is as charming as the heavy stuff is powerful. Charlie enters high school with some serious yet indeterminate psychological problems that have clearly devilled him since childhood. We don’t get to know about the extent of his difficulties until the movie’s final scenes, but they’ve made it hard for him to find friends. A device that comes and goes is Charlie’s voice-over of letters he’s writing to an unknown and unnamed friend that describe the hard shell he’s kept closed around himself. It all starts to change for Charlie–mostly for the better–when he hooks up with the eccentric, iconoclastic senior Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his popular step-sister Sam (Emma Watson). The energetic duo bring Charlie into their fold of friends and introduce him to a world outside himself that is probably exactly what he wanted, even though it’s a place of loyalty, trust, and understanding that had previously been unimaginable in the small confines of his tortured head space.
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