Long after its alleged nationwide release, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” finallymade it to local theaters and was well worth the wait. With few changes to the book, thefilm triumphed due to the author’s directing.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” tells the story of a high school freshman, Charlie(Logan Lerman), who writes letters to an anonymous friend about his everydayexperiences. A shy and unpopular teen, Charlie, later befriends two high school seniors,Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) who help him come out of his shell.
With such an impressive cast of great acting talent, some of the actors and actressesseemed to fall short. Lerman, Miller, Watson and Mae Whitman all looked a little too oldto play teenagers. Lerman, especially, did not look like a freshman in high school. Withthis age casting issue, the movie looked far more like college.
There were high expectations for Watson in this film, as it was her first big role sincethe “Harry Potter” series. Her acting seemed to come off a bit awkward on set. The roleof Sam presents a completely different persona than Hermione Granger did. Sam is apreppy, outgoing outcast, and Watson appeared a little out of place.
Miller was the star of the movie. In every scene he was in, the focus always seemed to beon him. He was able to turn many otherwise boring scenes into something comical.
Lerman was a little more believable in his role than Watson. Lerman was able to portraythe stereotypical awkward freshman really well. His accurate representation of adjustingto high school was very relatable.
Author Stephen Chbosky served as the film’s director. Having some prior knowledge indirecting turned out to be a huge advantage, because the film was directed magnificently.Chbosky was able to make the movie his way, and it worked in his favor.
Several scenes from the book were omitted from the film, which is to be expected inthe case of book adaptations. However, the biggest change that was made to the moviewas Charlie’s sister had gotten a name. In the book, she was anonymous, but she wasnamed “Candace” for the film so that she could be more easily recognizable.
Mr. Mudd Productions, the company that produced “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,”also made the film “Juno.” There were apparent similarities between the two, due to theirshared indie vibe. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a little unconventional, but isn’texactly like “Juno,” as it has its own feel.
The “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” soundtrack complements the film very well.There are a few indie songs, but the majority of them are about teenage rebellion. Thefilm contained many references to The Smiths, a popular 1980s band, but they seemed alittle out of place since the movie was supposed to take place in the 1990s.
Overall, Chbosky’s directing came through in this film where the acting sometimeslacked. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a win for the outcasts, a win for the misfitsand a win for underdogs.
Rachel Arlin can be reached at [email protected]