The Perks of Being an advanced movie review…
It is hard to maintain the feeling you get while reading a book when you watch a movie. Film is so objective that you tend to lose parts that may feel essential to the reader. It stands to reason that the perfect way to overcome that obstacle is to have the author write the screenplay then direct the movie. Now, this may not always work, but for The Perks of Being a Wallflower… it did.
Stephen Chbosky did such an amazing job of adapting his book to the big screen. I was fortunate enough to watch it early, and even talk to the man myself! Okay perhaps I should mention that there were rows and rows of movie seats between us, but he looked right at me and answered the question I managed to scrape out of my cluttered mind… so yeah, it totally counts.
There are no spoilers beyond this point so please do not hesitate! Click to read myreview.
This coming of age film is one of those that is so emotional that you can’t help but feel for the characters. I really think that the protagonist, Charlie, who is played perfectly by Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), is a character that people can relate to. He is a teenager who feels like he is alone, and is a bit lost as to who he is. Who hasn’t felt that at some point in their lives? What sets him apart is his circle of friends which includes Patrick (Ezra Miller, Californication) and his step-sister Sam (Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame). These siblings see a kindred spirit in young Charlie and take him into their world. This is a world that is filled with crazy characters and fun times. They live in the moment and dream of doing great things after graduation. Charlie is only a freshman, but having these ambitious, unafraid, and outgoing people in his life help prepare him for the world.
His friends push Charlie to work through his personal demons and figure out why he observes instead of participating. I don’t want to give anything away, but it does get pretty heavy and some of you emotional types may need to bring a couple sheets of tissue with you. The demons he works through are more than most of us had to deal with at that age, but the general sentiment is transferable. You need to create change in your life to move forward.
Despite its heavy moments, you will laugh and reminisce about the fun times you had in high school. This movie captures the carefree attitude of being a teenager and reminds you of a time when you had nothing but possibilities ahead of you. I love coming of age stories because it gives me a chance to look back at that time in my life and see the mistakes that became memories, some of which I laugh about today. You will leave the theater with a smile .
I hope that most of the people who will flock to see this movie on the first night will have read the book. If you are anything like me you will be eager to see how the movie stacks up to the book. Here are a few things that I observed:
- One of the major changes from the book is Charlie’s self awareness. In the book he just lets things happen around him, in the movie he feels like he understands these things and he actually acknowledges them. At times he even confronts them.
- The story is focused more on Charlie’s friends than the book where the story’s focus is split between Michael, Bill, Family and Friends. The casting choices made this an easy alteration for the story. Patrick and Sam were already wonderful characters, but the movie does demand more of them than the book did.
- The main message is unchanged. There are no obvious cheap product placements, or anything that takes you out of the world that Chbosky has created around his characters.
- Most importantly, we get wonderful quotes from the book including, “We accept the love we think we deserve.”
P.S. I tried to get the movie expert who took me to write this, but he is being a whine. *cough DANNY cough* He hasn’t read the book and he claims he knows movies better than me… so it makes sense that he write the movie review, right? Plus, I actually got a positive review from him, and believe me when I say that is a miracle. Any movie that makes him tear is automatically a strike against me, but he loved this one. So ladies, take your men; and men be gracious when “dragged” to this amazing movie. You will not be sorry.