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Not Just a High School Movie
zahnarabai28 August 2012
Went to an advance screening expecting your usual "shy kid in high school learns to stick up for himself" sort of feel-good drama. This movie is so much more than that - I was truly blown away by the mature themes and moving characters. Mental illness, sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol... I think the writer/screenwriter/director said it best in the Q+A after when he said it was a film that looked at the emotional aspects of that point in life without being sentimental. I really cared about these three teens - Charlie, Sam, and Patrick - and their story never felt cheesy. Just real, and moving, and touching. Go see this movie!
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One of the best of 2012 so far.
sleepyandawake21 September 2012
I had the pleasure of seeing Perks Of Being A Wallflower at Arclight Cinemas in LA yesterday and it was definitely worth the one hour drive.

The story is very simple yet complicated because of how much goes on. But the way it unfolds is beautiful and sad, sometimes all at once. While it has its funny moments, it also manages to go through dark topics as well such as homosexuality, drugs and death. Stephen Chbosky handles his story very well, never feeling like it's being forced but rather it flowed nicely and carefully.

Directing wise, it was shot very well. The cinematography is gorgeous, especially the scenes where the camera overlooks the skyline of Pittsburgh and during intimate scenes between the characters. You could not get anyone better to direct it other than the author himself because this is his book. This is his vision so he knows exactly how it goes in his head and we can see throughout the film, just how much his vision has truly come alive. The result is both engaging and satisfying.

Same thing with the writing. The dialogue is very honest and beautifully well written. It was very fun to quote along with the movie. Not just the writing but the overall tone of the film reminds me a little bit of John Hughes' work. Adapting a epistolary book into a film is incredibly challenging but Mr. Chbosky did a fine job of translating it into a film.

The musical score is done by Michael Brook who's also responsible for Into The Wild, another favorite of mine, and he did a very good job. In fact, one of the scores made me cry because of how it emotionally resonated with the scene it was fitting in. The soundtrack is awesome. Along with Mr. Chbosky, Alexandra Patsavas, who's also the music supervisor for The OC, did a great job of picking out the songs and treated it as if it were a mix tape.

Logan Lerman, my god, he did a masterful job as Charlie. The character literally jumped out of the book and made its way onto the big screen. Logan's performance blew me away. He did such an amazing job portraying the embodiment of Charlie through his expressions, his emotions, his movements, everything! So perfectly cast. The last 10 minutes of the movie alone is awards worthy because it really shows how talented he really is. I fell in love with his performance. So perfect in every way.

Emma Watson did a great job playing as Sam. She is very beautiful and charming. As for her American accent, I thought she did an okay job. There were times where you can kind of hear her British accent slip in and even though you notice it, it's nothing distracting and it didn't really bother me. But you have to give her credit for trying her best and she truly did. I enjoyed her performance very much.

The second standout of the film is Ezra Miller! He plays Patrick, a gay character who's not afraid of who he is and Ezra portrays him amazingly well. I've seen almost all of his work, and he's becoming a great actor who's very rare in the sense that he's brave and daring in contrast to the roles he has previously played. He steals every line and scene he's in, becoming the comic relief. But even so, Patrick has his own personal problem and this is where Ezra Miller proves once again just how great of an actor he is.

Everyone else in their supporting roles all have their moments. Nina Dobrev, who plays Candance aka Charlie's sister, did a good job. Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth was hilarious. Adam Hagenbuch as Bob was great. Erin Wilhelmi as Alice, Johnny Simmons as Brad and Nicholas Braun as Derek were all fine.

The rest of the cast: Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott who play the parents as well as Joan Cusack who plays Charlie's Doctor were all good, despite having little screen time. Melanie Lynskey did a very good job as Aunt Helen. Paul Rudd as Mr. Anderson is awesome. He's also a standout. Paul Rudd in general is a very likable actor and again, he doesn't have a lot of screen time either but he still manages to play his part memorably.

What makes the cast so special is the chemistry. Everyone got along so well and you can tell that they're very comfortable with each other and you feel convinced that these people are really friends. It was absolutely perfect.

I love this movie. It's amazing. And I'm not just saying this because I'm a die-hard fan of the book. It has a great script, great cast, it's well directed, awesome soundtrack and undeniable strong performances. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower may not be the most faithful adaptation but the spirit of the story is still there and it does great justice to the book. This is one of the best coming of age movies I've ever seen.
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Being Infinite
billygoat10711 October 2012
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is another story about a simple guy living in a cruel life of high school. The difference is he's not ought to save the day, wants to lose his virginity, seeking to be popular, or revenge on his bullies. The story is about a shy kid who wants to get along with people and can't wait to leave high school. Behind it is the genuine pain and emotion of the characters which makes it more than just another story about teenagers. Stephen Chbosky tells his own story on screen pretty well and the performances are quite excellent. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is often heartbreaking, charming, and wonderful.

Charlie is palpably just another teenage protagonist, but he is not one of those who tries to prove everyone who mistreated him wrong. His goal is to get away from being anti-social and be like anyone else in high school. We may have heard a story like this before, but what makes this one extraordinary is when it mostly depicts the darkest aspects of their lives. Expressing the most heartbreaking truths about these teenagers. Knowing their problems easily makes it reasonable for us to care about them. The romance is rather credibly lovely than a mainstream claptrap. In the joyous moments, it's pretty delightful and plays a quite nostalgic soundtrack.

The film gives the actors some nuance. This is probably a good thing for Logan Lerman. He usually plays the simple charming guy in movies. Since he's good at those, he adds some credibility to Charlie. Emma Watson is likable enough as Sam. The best among the three is Ezra Miller. One might hams it up for Patrick, but Miller gave the character a genuinely wonderful personality.

The director and author, Stephen Chbosky, didn't try anything else than to bring his book to life. He tells it straightforward on screen with plenty of strong, effective emotions. The cinematography is bright and beautiful enough. The tunnel scene has the best shots. While the soundtrack is too conspicuous, the music score is noticeably melancholic.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is best if you can actually relate to the lead character or have experienced the struggles of being an adolescent. When it's not depressing, the film goes to those blissful moments that make us remember the good times in high school. Overall, it's a great film. It's a film adaptation that replaces the cliché mainstream swagger with some painful realities and simply let the audience understand the whole point of it. In the end, it's quite a remarkable film.
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Exceptionally Infinite
darwegener27 June 2012
Stephen Chbosky has taken his exceptional novel and made it an extraordinary film. As the opening credit rolled I was impressed with the quality of the cast including Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, and Dylan McDermott. And to top it off, Joan Cusak is there as well.

This is a story of coming of age and coming to terms of a boy entering high school and adulthood. Freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) almost by accident becomes friends with Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his stepsister Sam (Emma Watson). Soon he is hanging out learning about the ins and outs of being a teen. But there is something that is left unsaid, is it about his last best friend or his aunt.

Chbosky must have been blessed by John Hughes. Not only capturing this timeless story with every word and sight, the film's soundtrack blows me away. Not many can take a book of such depth and keep the heart and soul of it alive, but it happened here. Go to the theatre and see it. Check out the book and read it. But most of all, Stay Infinite!
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We are infinite
ferguson-630 August 2012
Greetings again from the darkness. Brace for gushing. Last evening I attended a screening that included a fascinating Q&A with writer/director Stephen Chbosky. It reminded me of how personal and intimate and observant and incisive a well-made film can be. A well written script is so refreshing, and an exceptional script can be truly breath-taking. Mr. Chbosky takes the unusual step of directing his own screenplay based on his own novel (a 1999 bestseller), and he left me stunned and enthralled.

The popularity of the novel would typically make the film version a disappointment for its fans. Not so this time. Mr. Chbosky remains true to the spirit despite the need to edit for the sake of continuity and brevity. The key characters spring to life thanks to the efforts of four strong performances from young actors: Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson, The Three Muskateers) plays Charlie, Emma Watson (Harry Potter films) is Sam, Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin, City Island) is Patrick, and Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) is Mary Elizabeth.

If you have read the book, you know the story ... you know the characters ... you know the themes. If you haven't read the book, I will spoil nothing. The brilliance is recognized only as you get to know these characters and slowly uncover their stories. What we discover is that, regardless of our age, we recognize these characters from our high school days. We know the introverted, observant Charlie who so desperately needs a support system. We surely recognize the attention-starved, lacking in self-esteem Sam who is the epitome of "We accept the love we think we deserve". And we all knew a Patrick ... the flamboyant one who sheaths his pain with an over-the-top act of public confidence. What Chbosky does is shine the spotlight on these characters to ensure that we really SEE them this time.

The themes reminded me a bit of a darker John Hughes film (that's a compliment). There were also pieces of two other really good films: Stand By Me and Almost Famous. The formative years of a writer determine the depths to which his or her work will reach later in life. Admittedly, the film is substantially autobiographical, so when Mr. Chbosky says it's a personal story, we begin to understand the foundation of his remarkable writing style.

"Welcome to the island of misfit toys." When this line is spoken, we realize that most every high school kid has thought the same thing at some point. These are painful and difficult times and as Mr. Chbosky stated, we should encourage kids to fight through this stage and get on to the next ... then able to find their true self. Clearly, the film made a strong impact on me. My favorite reaction to a movie is profound thought, and this one caused this in waves. The decision to release as PG-13 was wise. There is no excess of profanity or nudity to divert attention from what really matters ... the characters. I can think of no finer compliment to a writer and filmmaker than to cite them as the cause of my internal discussions related to their film. My hope is that you have the same reaction. (
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Young Cast Give Amazing Performances, Great Soundtrack, Emotionally Moving
tiarockz9 September 2012
I absolutely loved this film - specifically the acting, music and even at times the cinematography. Steven Chbosky captured the spirit of the book and the characters magnificently - Ezra and Logan give exceptional performances that deserve major credit. Emma gives a strong performance as Sam - you can tell that she really understands the character, however she does struggle a bit with the American accent. Not to worry - she's in Bling Ring next year and will have improved by then, she does a great job of finding her ground and portraying a troubled yet lovable and wonderful teen, at times her actions speak much louder than her words. Logan is phenomenal at every aspect of Charlie - awkward, unsure, emotional, honest - he gives an amazing performance. Ezra is hilarious but not gimmicky, and can flip to a somber tone at a moment's notice and have everyone spellbound. Also great performances from Mae Whitman, Nina Dobrev and Johnny Simmons. The young cast is truly the heart of the film and are all really great. There is a lot of humour, emotion, honesty, everything it needed, and also an excellent soundtrack to back it up.
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Saw this at TIFF 2012
stanhdeeks10 September 2012
Saw this movie at TIFF and after watching the trailer was thinking I was going to enjoy this movie. Those expectations now are so very low, this movie is amazing. It speaks on many different levels of being a teenager, dealing with death, loneliness, and how awkward it can be trying to fit in. I haven't seen a move like this in a very long time and was very refreshing. The highlight of the film for me at least from a acting stand point is Ezra Miller really funny, but very heartfelt at the same time. Don't get me wrong the whole case is amazing (Emma Watson was perfect for this after HP) but Ezra really stands out. Stephen Chbosky really cared about this book, and it really shows in this film. Him Directing and writing his own book was a amazing idea.

It's going to get many comparisons to a John Hughes film, and rightfully so this movie is heart felt and just amazing.

I will definitely being seeing this film again.
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Very Well Done
mc_warwick25 September 2012
I just saw the movie at the Pgh premiere and it was amazing. I was hoping I wouldn't be disappointed because I loved the book so much. The movie is very true to the book. A few things have been omitted or changed but it doesn't change the mood of the story. I think the casting choices were spot on. Emma Watson has a scene in which she tears up and cries and it was amazing. I also appreciate how Chbosky made the parents thoughtful people, unlike most teen comedies. I am definitely going to see this movie again because there was so much to take in. Very well done.

It's also lovely to see my hometown as the backdrop. Pgh is a beautiful city and coming out of the Fort Pitt tunnels into the city is an experience that isn't quite captured well enough in the film. It's still a powerful scene and I teared up watching it.
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Chix Chat on Film Review: Not your typical teenage angst tale.
EmmaDinkins31 August 2012
The Perks…as it were, was a bit of a marvel when discussing what teenagers have to contend with. Anyone that decides to see this film expecting a run of the mill high school drama or teenage angst tale will be pleasantly surprised at the depth with which this story delves. This adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's novel seemed to take the difficulties facing one young man embarking on his high school journey through one extreme situation after another. I could visualize a totally different version of this tale of misfit toys being played out where all is right with the world and Charlie (Logan Lerman) is the most popular freshman in school for the simple fact that all his friends are seniors. The immediate infatuation that Charlie had with Sam (Emma Watson) was no surprise, what did surprise me was the challenges that she and her step brother Patrick/Nothing (Ezra Miller) had to endure. Even I started to get annoyed as the school year progressed and the running 'Nothing' joke persisted. It's always surprising when a story focuses on well to do young people whose lives would be expected to mimic a fairytale. This story gives insight into the fact that some young people have the same if not even more struggles than others and having money can't really fix that. I found it interesting that there was no clear indication in the story as to the school year, even at graduation there was none of the typical 'Class of '92' or whatever to show how proud of their time graduates are. It may be that Mr. Chbosky wanted to steer clear of associating the story with a specific year, but it was obviously the early 90's when the primary mode of sharing and exchanging music was via cassette. I recall so very clearly the good old days when the 'mix tape' ruled. I have to say that I liked Emma Watson as an American teenager, she can cross the pond and put it down any time. Yes there were a few moments in her dialog that she sounded like Hermione, but this role did a great deal to paint her in a different and mature light. I am not drawn to tales of the human condition unless there is a deep truth to be gleaned from the story, so if I had to say the moral of the story is… It would be 'you gotta have friends'. This story worked because of what the three key characters gained from getting to know each other. I give it a green light.
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LOVED IT !!!!!! Please go see it !!!
cruizinalong16 September 2012
I saw the preview of this film and thought it was intriguing. I went to a screening last week and was totally BLOWN AWAY......this film has everything. I grew up in this era were the internet highway was just about to expload and I felt this film had EVERYTHING -great beginning = grabbed your attention, then acceptance, then the complex happened and you just didn't know where this film was going to go and then the film closure or was it? This has to be the BEST DRAMA/LOVE STORY ....coming of age I have seen. I would recommend this film to ANYONE....LOVED IT !!!!!! PLEASE go see this film. I feel due to lack of advertisement that it will be overlooked with other big blockbuster films but I totally related to this film and LOVED IT !!! I haven't even heard about this film until I was invited to a screening...saw the trailer and really wanted to see it but the trailer does not do it justice. If you are looking for something to do on a weekend ...get out of the heat..please see this film
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The Perks of a Great Cast, Writing and Direction
comicbookfilmfan28 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler Alert: There will be some spoilers in this review.

I was very fortunate to have finally seen Perks of Being a Wallflower (POBAW) at an advance screening courtesy of a fellow film fanatic and blogger. I had to travel for the most part of a day through a couple of States to get to the screening but it was worth every penny of the toll fees charged.

Disclosure: I read POBAW nearly 10 years ago when I was just about to start college and it remains one of my favorite books alongside works by Thomas Pynchon, Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, John Irving, Gore Vidal - a very eclectic bunch.

I had also been tracking any plans to make a film version of the novel since 2008 when Chbosky was quoted in an online interview that he was working on a script based on his novel. I thought that's a very hopeful, positive and at the same time brave sign. Around the time I read the novel, I was also totally engrossed in a new drama series on the WB called "Jack and Bobby" which starred a then 12-13 year old actor named Logan Lerman whom I had seen previously in the cult favorite "The Butterfly Effect" as a young Ashton Kutcher and the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "A Painted House". I was struck by the maturity of Lerman's weekly output in Jack and Bobby and thought at the time that he reminded me so much of Charlie in POBAW.

Fast forward to 2010 when Variety broke the news that Lerman, Chbosky and Emma Watson were all involved in the POBAW film with John Malkovich's Mr. Mudd Productions - I knew then that it was going to be special.

And it is. It is a faithful adaptation of the novel to the screen but not necessarily a set piece-for-set piece accurate one. More than the plot elements and details, it is the story arc and the emotions in the written work that have made a successful transition to the screen. For that I must credit Chbosky for knowing what to cut and what to retain in the film version. Even the use of songs other than those in Charlie's mixtape works because the director and the entire team know the essence of the book and how and why it has affected so many readers and they respected it.

Spoilers: There is no abortion scene, no reading of Dr. Earl Reum's moving poem in the film or some of the scenes with Charlie's extended family over the holidays and yet, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Chbosky's decision on this. Fans of the book should not get into a twist because some of these will not be seen because Charlie's story and more importantly, his unique voice is there in all it's quirky, lovable and emotional beauty.

Don't let the obviously very commercial trailer fool you, the film retains the book's darker moments and the demons which torment the protagonist.

As for the acting, I cannot say enough about how the cast embodied and fully embraced the characters they were playing. First off, those who know Logan Lerman only from his Percy Jackon-franchise should take another look at this promising young actor. I have seen Lerman in other performances in 3:10 to Yuma and My One and Only and always found him to be a mature and sensitive actor. And while his performances in those films are noteworthy, Perks allows him to show his full range and versatility. He is Charlie no doubt about it and imbues the role with sophistication and emotion. I realize the Academy doesn't take notice of younger actors unlike the actress categories but Lerman's performance is truly awards-worthy.

Ezra Miller's portrayal of Patrick may surprise some fans of the book as his characterization may be slightly more flamboyant than the Nothing of the book but he delivers a funny, outrageous but ultimately warm performance.

Now Emma Watson really needs to do more work on her American accent as her natural one flits in and out but it doesn't totally distract from a winsome and winning performance as Sam. Perhaps not in the same league as Lerman and Miller but certainly a departure and breakthrough from just being known as Hermione. The actress knows how to choose material. Also the chemistry between her and Lerman is outstanding.

Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Joan Cusack, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott and the always great Melanie Lynskey also make wonderful contributions. I wish though that we had seen more of the young actor Chbosky cast as Michael (cut out of the film) and Julia Garner of Electrick Children.

Just a last note, Chbosky makes full use of his Pittsburgh setting to situate the characters in the film. The Christmas/holiday scenes are beautiful visually and so is the RHPS.

If there is one thing I hope fans of POBAW will do is to tell people they know to see the film. This is not your typical teen fare and certainly miles ahead of the Twilight series and the Hunger Games. As a coming-of-age film, I would place this in the same league as "Dead Poets' Society" and the classic "Harold and Maude". More substantial than John Hughes' work. This is real. I would love it if families could see this film together. It deserves nothing less. I hope that there is enough critical mass at TIFF and beyond to elevate this film for the accolades it deserves.
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Good but a bit scary to this old fashioned father.
MartinHafer23 January 2014
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is a good movie. However, as a father of two girls in college, watching this film is a bit tough for me, as I WANT to assume that real young people don't do drugs, stand up in fast-moving cars, have sex, or, well...have sex. But I also know this naive and although I would hate for younger teens to see this movie (as it might give them a sense that they should grow up too fast), it IS a good film. Far from perfect,...but a good film.

The film is about a very insecure and withdrawn young man entering high school. He doesn't fit in and knows it. However, surprisingly, he does soon get taken into a small group of friends--friends who are seniors and mostly have a lot of hangups too. It takes place over this single year of high school and ends when the older friends go off to college.

The film has a very smart script. Sometime, perhaps a bit too smart because too often the kids come off as a bit hipster-ish and too glib. But it is very enjoyable throughout and quite poignant--and deals with some VERY tough and complex topics--some of which are rarely ever addressed. While I don't think the movie is as wonderful as most (since it's in the IMDb Top 250 List), it is quite good and excellent for an audience 16 and up...well, perhaps 17 and up.
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Extremely touching film infinitely awesome!
illbebackreviews19 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The biggest issue with this movie, I would have to admittedly say, is the fact that is such an underrated film. Not to say anything against Best Picture nominee, Silver Linings Playbooks, but I would myself place an Oscar nomination for The Perks of Being a Wallflower over SLP for a Best Picture nomination. That being said, let the review be underway A young and troubled freshman by the name of Charlie (Logan Lerman) attempts to make his way through high school and gain friends as he falls in love with Sam (Emma Watson) The story is definitely based off Steven Chbosky's novel which he writes and directs in this case. Normally, having the author of a book direct a film can often come out horrible as a reader's interpretation is completely different from a film director's. Also, a book must be structured and paced differently to that of a film and in most cases, an author directing a film would more so attempt to direct it like a film. It's not the case here, thankfully! The direction in this film is definitely marvellous and the way the characters were presented is truly fantastic. Having never read the book myself, I was almost immediately fascinated by the film and a while into the film, I knew I would love it. Despite only reaching a 100 minute run time, I would personally have loved the film to be another half hour longer.

The film is a truly moving one and is not an average popcorn flick. Very powerful emotionally, at least for someone like me, who has experienced a similar life to that of Charlie, it can definitely be hard to re-watch this film, despite its complete brilliance.

With good performances throughout, from Logan Lerman to Emma Watson, this film adds further credibility. If I were to pick a fault with this film, I'd really have a tough time sitting through thinking but perhaps, if a few characters, mainly Mary and Sam were elaborated a bit more, there may have been a bit more of an emotional connection but for Sam, it doesn't tend to matter much as her character is a likable one and the screen time she has is relatively long.

In a year that saw the releases of films like Django Unchained, The Hobbit, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and Looper, I myself would personally rank it above all those great films of the year except for my personal favourite Django Unchained.

Fantastic direction, excellent writing and an excellent knowledge of book to movie adaptations from the book's very author, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a brilliantly acted story and is emotionally powerful yet displays elements of other films. A fantastic film, a near masterpiece of the decade. One of the most underrated films of this new decade.
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Sets a new benchmark for what the coming-of-age genre can accomplish
larry-4112 October 2012
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" redefines the classic American coming-of-age story. Writer/director Steven Chbosky has raised the bar on the traditional adolescent drama, with an emotionally-charged narrative infused with just enough bold strokes of joy and heartbreak to set a new benchmark for what the genre can accomplish.

Based on Chbosky's own novel of the same name, the movie is about growing up in a tough and unforgiving world, yes, with its requisite lessons on overcoming obstacles. But it also touches on tragic notions of loss and grief, rarely explored in coming-of-age films with such mastery.

Chbosky has said that if viewers take away one message from the film, it's that "you are not alone." This seemingly simple thought can't come at a better time, as bullying and its often devastating consequences have dominated headlines in recent months.

The book's premise is deceptively straightforward. 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman) keeps a diary of letters addressed to someone real or imagined. "Dear Friend," each entry begins, as he recalls his tumultuous high school days, celebratory one moment, heartbreaking the next, but always poignant and full of promise. The movie brings Charlie's writing to life, with a charming cadre of schoolmates (and the occasional peripheral adult) taking the stage as Charlie stands in the spotlight. It's an ideal structure for a narrative as free of boundaries as the promising world of the adolescent. Charlie is everyteen, we've all been there, or have we? The Perks of Being a Wallflower wanders down paths seldom seen on screen, into surprisingly shocking territory that challenges audiences to open their hearts.

The indie look and feel of the film is undeniable from the start. Single-point lighting is used effectively as a plot device. Charlie's face often appears split down the center, one side brightly lit, the other in soft shadow, mirroring his conflicted soul and sense of confusion, trapped between two worlds. Light falls gently on him when he's serene, more harshly in moments of crisis. The darkness hides the secrets he deftly keeps to himself as the narrative unfolds.

Audiences of all ages will be able to relate to the 80s modern rock soundtrack -- evocative songs you undoubtedly know and love, spanning generations from Boomers to today's teens. Sound design is brilliantly orchestrated with action timed perfectly to the music cues. Michael Brook's original score is appropriately minimal. Nothing needs to be underlined here in a story that has no filler or room to breathe. Not a frame is wasted on extended character development or conventional transitions in this visualization of Charlie's nonstop roller-coaster of a diary.

Andrew Dunn's stunning cinematography patiently engages the viewer, eschewing the hand-held shaky cam style so prevalent in the genre. His use of slow motion dolly shots brings us, literally, into Charlie's world. The boy's fear and sense of unease is heightened by intense closeups that reveal the bittersweet emptiness in his eyes. There's a lot more going on in that youthful head than he allows those around him to see, but even he isn't aware of it. We are but voyeurs, watching, examining, trying to make sense of Charlie's vulnerability and confusion.

Editor Mary Jo Markey's loving hand allows us to embrace the plot's twists and turns without skipping a beat. The pace is calm but deliberate, and it's clear that Dunn, Markey, and the rest of the production team are as devoted to Chbosky's vision as a boy experiencing his first romance. You only have one chance to get it right.

Chbosky has unquestionably assembled one of the most talented young ensemble casts in recent memory. As Charlie's love interest Sam, 22-year-old Emma Watson dominates the screen with the maturity and wisdom that only a polished veteran could bring to the role. Nina Dobrev, Julia Garner, and Mae Whitman are the free-spirited girls who surround Charlie and attempt to bring him to life. Their performances shine with an authenticity that is clearly rooted in passion for the material. On the male side, Johnny Simmons portrays football jock Brad, whose enigmatic personality figures prominently in the story in ways which will be left to the viewer. Nicholas Braun and Reece Thompson are standouts in support and much-needed comic relief.

As Charlie's would-be best friend Patrick, Ezra Miller is shockingly brilliant as a gay-go-lucky teen who lives life as if every day is his last. His joie de vivre is infectious and vacuums the pain out of anyone who comes near.

But "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" primarily rests on the shoulders of Logan Lerman. As Charlie, his ability to play down to 15 (he was 19 at the time) owes itself to a physical transformation he brings to every role -- in this case, widening his eyes and keeping an expressionless face that projects puppy dog innocence. His posture, walk, and pattern of speech all serve to underscore Charlie's youthful vulnerability. However "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is remembered, wherever it stands in the pantheon of coming-of-age pictures, Lerman's authentic characterization of Chbosky's semi-autobiographical protagonist should stand as one of the most iconic adolescent portrayals of our time.

Some films are intensely personal, and that's as it should be. Art should move you, and you bring your own life experience to the table when considering it. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was so much more than I imagined. I expected to be moved but I had no idea where the film would take me. Whether or not you will be similarly affected is something you'll need to discover for yourself. I think you will.
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Lovely characters, well-written conversations and gripping story
marcus-lundberg-545-49497722 September 2018
This movie takes on the subject of bullying brilliantly. The movies message is not forced upon the viewer. The characters and conversations are so well written that the unsensible with the story and people becomes natural. I really wanted to be a part of their "strange" gang and fell particularly in love with Charlie, Sam and Patrick. Maybe not the most cheerful movie, but it will still remain in memory for long
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Doesn't stand out
rubenm7 January 2013
Although most reviewers on IMDb seem to be ecstatic about 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower', I don't think this film really stands out. To be honest, it didn't really move or impress me in any way. In my opinion it's a decent film, with some flaws, that could have been far better if it wasn't so mainstream.

I think most of the enthusiastic reviewers are young people, who recognize themselves in this story about teenagers who choose to be different from the rest. It's a very romantic story: a melancholic teenager befriends a group of progressive/bohemian/intellectual youngsters, who differentiate themselves from the rest of the school. They introduce him to parties, drugs and music from The Smiths and David Bowie. He falls in love with one of the girls, and another girl falls in love with him. There are secrets to keep, memories to share and experiences to cherish.

This could have been the cinematographic equal to Donna Tartt's novel 'The Secret History'. But it lacks the dark, mysterious, Gothic aspects of the book. There are traumas and secrets in 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower', but they are implied and not clearly explained.

It's clear this movie appeals to young people, who perhaps can recognize a lot about their own life in the film. But to be a good movie in its own right, it should also be attractive for viewers in other age groups. I think in that respect this movie fails.
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One of the best teen dramas
margaretafb29 December 2012
This movie impressed me in a way that I didn't really expect. Unfortunately I haven't read the book but I want to do it as soon as possible. From the first moments when Charlie started to write his letter I felt a strong empathy for him. I recognized myself in his way of seeing life, his fear of the others...and of the whole world actually. He made me remember my own fears from the time when I entered high school. I'm also a "wallflower". I'm the one who always keeps quiet, observes and understands facts. Logan Lerman's character made this movie so worth watching for me.

I found myself even in his mental illness too, because, after all, it is a symbol of the "ghosts" which haunt each of us, the drama that lies behind our appearance. I think every teenager in this world should see this movie! It presents all the forms of anguish, anxiety, queerness and peculiarity that take over us. This story was made to show us that we're not alone! and that we're not some creepy aliens!

I'm only 19 but at the end of the movie I felt so very old! It made me want to stop the time and remain that moment when Charlie had finally touched the apogee of this adventure called adolescence!
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It doesn't get better than this.
DJRMewzique7 December 2012
I kinda wish someone had warned me about this film, and at the same time, kinda happy I had no idea what was coming. If I had known exactly what this film was about, I may have been slightly reticent to go see it by myself, but I think I would have been equally as embarrassed to have seen it with other people.

Why? Because five minutes in, the film managed to grab hold of me on an emotional level like no film has done in decades, forcing me to fight against tears tooth and nail right through until the credits began to roll. And I am not exaggerating. Not even remotely. And I just barely won the fight.

With that in mind, I'll keep the details to a minimum, but I warn you, if my words move you to see this film, you may want to go in prepared (or wait for the DVD), although little could have prepared me for such a beautifully honest and gut-wrenching film.

Charlie is a loner. He had a best friend, but that friend is gone. He's about to start high school, but just doesn't quite fit in anywhere. A brilliant student with a complete lack of social skills. That is, until he finds every ounce of courage he has to speak with Patrick. And suddenly, he is introduced to a world of people kind of like him. People who don't need to question him to understand him.

He found a band of wallflowers.

I was well-aware that this little indie-ish film had been extremely well-received by critics, and has managed a moderate box office. However, what piqued my interest is the fact that, as Oscar murmurs pick up strength and sail from whispers to rumbles, critics after critic have randomly called this movie out of left field as a film that should up "for your consideration." All I could think was, "Wow, really? A teen movie is THAT good?" Well, without hesitation, I can say with all honesty that it is really that good. I will go as far to say that it may just be the best film I have seen all year.

Much of the Oscar whispers focus on two things: the flawless script by Stephen Chbosky (who adapted the film from his own epistolary 1999 novel of the same name and also directed) and Ezra Miller. After a phenomenal turn as a tormented teen in last year's exquisitely disturbing "We Need to Talk about Kevin," Miller's Patrick is indeed an incredibly memorable young man, playing a teen held back at school with skin that has become so thick, he is not a victim of the torment of his peers, but has instead learned to embrace it. Emma Watson, in her first post-"Harry Potter" starring role, is stunning as Sam, in terms of both her physicality and her acting, the beautiful young woman who is trying to put her past behind her and find her place in the world. But, in my humble opinion, the bulk of emotional gravitas radiates from the film's rising star, Logan Lerman. As the conflicted, unstable and completely lost Charlie, Lerman's performance is nothing short of revelatory. With every look, awkward touch and utterance from his mouth, he is like Michael Cena stripped of sarcasm and overloaded with brilliance and emotion.

And while their screen time ranges from actively supporting to mere minutes, even the secondary roles, played by Paul Rudd as "that teacher" that some of us will remember and cherish forever , Kate Walsh ("Private Practice") and Dylan McDermott ("American Horror Story") as Charlie's parents, and Mae Whitman ("Parenthood") as one of the wallflowers, add to the incredible emotional complexity, lending this film such an unobtrusive air of honesty and genuine feeling that to not be deeply moved by the story as it unfolds before you is practically inconceivable.

If you have always been the pretty one with the perfect grades or the perfect job, the popularity, and attention focused on you, maybe you won't quite get it. But for the majority of us who have ever spent time wondering where the hell we fit in in this world, whether it be back in high school...or right now...keep the Kleenex close. If this film does not move you to your very foundation, make you think of where you have been, maybe where you are, or worry about what your kids might be silently going through, I don't know what else would.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is such an acutely executed film, it overflows with authenticity thanks to extraordinary performances by an almost implausibly perfect cast of young talent. If the AMPAS voters fail to take notice, it will be a shame, not just because nothing else hit the big screen this year like it and it deserves the extra recognition, but because an entire generation or two (or three) should take notice.

Yes, it is THAT good. In a world where we need to assure our younger generation that "it gets better," parents, teachers, wallflowers? Please, take notice. And grab the Kleenex. You've been warned.
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We accept the love we deserve
dannybeans17 March 2013
This is my first review and its brief. I do not understand the need for lengthy reviews. After watching this four times in six days i felt compelled to give my own ten pence worth. I've never seen a film like this where i have loved all the characters. The cast are brilliant and story moves along at a nice pace. The soundtrack is amazing. I love movies and its very rare that one comes along like this that works on so many levels. I am not usually one for this sort of genre and came close to taking this back before actually watching it. I am so glad i did not. Its going to be a very long time before something tops this. This is a feel good movie with some disturbing undertones. If you love movies and want something that moves you emotionally then this is for you.
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I am a teary person but i shed but i cleared a lot of tears off my face
jackieandjc15 November 2013
It was a very well made movie, i started watching the Movie & read the book which i finished in 5hrz. i was into it perhaps the movie made me wanna read the book more. It a really interesting way of writing a book. I'd encourage for anyone to read the book & Watch the movie. I thought Emma Watson looked really good, Hot even & I loved Logan here...Ezra was just good, great even.

It hurt because i found relations to it, perhaps that's why i cried. that moment when Sam (Emma Watson) touches Charlie's lap (Logan Lerman) with that look in his eyes i knew something was wrong & i cried.

Some of the songs are a good pick, some are just Duh!

Asleep by The Smiths (Oh Lovely track)

Love always JC
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Very good
tr9118 September 2013
I went into watching 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' without reading the book 1st so I didn't know what sort of story to expect. The rating of the film was high but I was still a bit skeptical as to whether I would actually enjoy this, I'm glad to say I did like this film.

The story is well written and the acting is very impressive. Logan Lerman as Charlie was the main character, he had some problems and he played his role very well, he seemed like a completely believable character who you really feel for. The rest of the cast were also good, especially Emma Watson. Having seen a lot of her in the Harry Potter movies, this was the 1st time I've seen her in anything else. She made the change with ease and her American accent was believable I thought, she really did show just how good of an actress she is.

It has a serious side to it and some of the flashbacks are a little uncomfortable to watch. The way the friendships are developing is realistic and quite heartwarming. You really feel attached to the characters and maybe can relate a little to them, they are all extremely likable in their own way. I also liked the soundtrack for the film.

Overall it's a very enjoyable film that I would recommend to anyone who wants a good drama.

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zetes25 December 2012
Mostly a trite and clichéd high school picture. Logan Lerman is miscast as a moody high school freshman (who looks like he' at least 16) who befriends a group of seniors (Ezra Miller, Emma Watson and Mae Whitman chief amongst them) who help him come out of his shell. That's not too unbelievable, but it becomes increasingly silly when Whitman becomes romantically involved with him, and Stone, on whom Lerman is crushing, would probably be game if she weren't already involved. This plays out like a fantasy, not reality. If you've ever been in a high school as an adult the maturity difference between freshmen and seniors - Hell, freshmen and sophomores - is hugely pronounced. Even among alterna-kids, no 18 year old girl is going to even think about dating a 14/15 year old. I couldn't quite get over that, but that's hardly the only flaw. Ezra Miller is definitely the stand-out. His homosexual character is a bit cliché, but I was happy that they actually weren't afraid to give him a sex life (though not graphic, I'm surprised it didn't land an R-rating because of it).
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Charming Gem of a Picture
Michael_Elliott11 November 2012
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

High school freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) is having problems making friends but that all changes when he meets Sam (Emma Watson), Patrick (Ezra Miller) and their group. Soon Charlie finds himself experiencing all sorts of new adventures but the past is still there to haunt him as he tries to make sense of his world. This is based on Stephen Chbosky's best-selling novel and it's a rare case where the writer also gets to not only do the film's screenplay but also direct. I will admit right up front that I've never read the book and I never even heard of it until I saw the trailer for this movie. After viewing this film it really makes me want to read it because as a film this thing is actually very touching and rings very true to life. I thought the three leading characters were some of the best written and most memorable to come out of a teen film in a very long time and thankfully the screenplay pays just as much attention to the supporting characters like their friends to even Charlie's parents. The screenplay here is certainly one of the best of the year and I really liked how it could be dramatic one moment, sad the next and then funny all in the matter of seconds. I think this is why it rings true to real life and it also doesn't help that you get so many memorable performances. The three leads are certainly terrific with Watson coming off the best as the charmer. A lot of credit also has to go to Lerman for being able to handle such a wide range of emotions. Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh and Joan Cusack all do great in their smaller roles as well. Horror fans will also get a kick out of seeing Tom Savini in his role as a shop teacher. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is certainly a clever, smart and well rounded picture that works on many levels. I can't say if it's better or worse than the book since I haven't read it but this film is clearly a winner.
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Quirks, Jerks, Smirks (yet) Perks Works
writers_reign5 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Frankly I didn't expect too much from this entry; I've never heard of the book let alone read it, I'm not really a Harry Potter buff so I had no interest in whether or not Emma Watson would not out to have discovered Life Beyond Harry Potter. At most I was hoping for a painlessly pleasant couple of hours in the dark. Having seen it I have no problem endorsing the positive reviews I have just been reading here on IMDb. Whilst I don't know how realistic it would be to have a freshman hanging out with Seniors for one whole Academic year the thought merely registered rather than nagged throughout the running time. There was one subtle touch I appreciated: Charley establishes an immediate rapport with his English teacher who is happy to suggest - and even supply - 'extra' reading for Charley, who laps it up. At one point the teacher makes Charley a present of his own 'personal' copy of 'The Catcher In The Rye'. This novel is narrated by a troubled teenager who reveals in the last chapter that he is writing from a hospital where he is being treated for a nervous breakdown; 'Wallflower' is also narrated by Charley who begins by telling us he has spent some time in hospital and we soon realize this his ailment wasn't physical. Nice touch. This is very much an ensemble piece, to say nothing of a labor of love, and it would be churlish to single out any one performance. My only reservation is that, like so many 'indie' movies that are so charming on a first viewing - Sideways, The Station Agent, Juno, etc - it may not hold up in a few years time. But for now it is slightly terrific.
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A little masterpiece, incredibly touching
Red_Identity11 December 2012
I never read the book this film is based on. It was never on my radar to watch. It wasn't a film I was even planning to see. And guess what? It turned out to be a gem of high proportions.

Now, the cast here is all wonderful, and the three leads all work perfectly. Miller and Watson are great, and the former has some really great scenes that would definitely put him in my Supporting Actor line- up. But the real star here is Logan Lerman. I don't have any say on how he portrayed the character in the novel, but what he did here amazed me to no end. His ability to reflect so many of his characters' past with such simple glances is incredible. It would have been so easy to make the silent-type lead teenage boy feel lazy or uninspired, and even in a lessor actor's hands it could have felt that way. But Lerman is mesmerizing from start to finish, never once hitting a false note or detaching himself from the emotional weight his character is living under. This is one of the best teenage performances I've ever seen, and as of right now easily the best performance of the year. Granted, I haven't seen most of the awards contenders, but this is truly incredible stuff and Lerman has enormous talent that I really hope carries him through a long and successful career.

These kinds of films are always hard to navigate exactly. It's kind of hard to not fall into clichés or stereotypes. At first glance it seems like there's nothing that makes this stand apart from other films of this kind. Granted, I don't watch many that are under this specific genre simply because they never seem like anything out of the ordinary. So to be as moved by the film as I was, for it to have emotionally touched me the way it did is a huge surprise. Technically this isn't some high achievement, but there is no other film as emotionally rich this year. The characters and story lines all work in marvelous ways. I can't even say that some of it wasn't familiar territory because most of it verges on what we have seen before. And it's not perfect, some of the dialogue at times is a bit clunky, some of the plot mechanics. But it all comes together to create what is to me, a deeply, deeply personal film. I connected with the characters in ways I forgot were possible. There have been many great films in recent years, but I don't think there's been one that has reminded me of who I am as a person or who I was, what my life has been like, what life in general is like, this much. I always dread sentimentality, and if anything I am easily put off by any kind of emotional manipulation. But this is the only film in a long time that really was trying to be as emotionally investing as it could be, and one that never hit any real false notes when it came to the emotions it stirred in me.

I've always said that as great as any story lines or characters are in observing a film you've seen, the art of film is ultimately a medium of feeling, just like any other art form. And this is why I haven't mentioned, really, any of the plot. Being able to talk about how it made me feel is enough, and this is a film where the emphasis on the word "feel" is all but deserved. This is a small gem of a film, but as rich of an experience as one could hope for. The best film of 2012.
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