Opening in theatres this Friday from director/writer Stephen Chbosky and Summit Entertainment comes a beloved novel to screen with THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.
This film tells the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman), a young man who is on the fringe of being a loner. Dealing with the suicide of a loved one and his own emotional health, he reaches out for friends. His father (Dylan McDermott) and mother (Kate Walsh) watches helplessly.
As Charlie starts another school year he is embraced by English teacher Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd) who wants to help the young teen fit in. To his surprise Charlie is also embraced by Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), who brings him into their world and dub him the newest ‘wallflower’.
Charlie is quiet about his love for Sam but is opened up to a world he has been hiding from. Hiding from the past doesn’t help the future as the time comes to face life and all that has happened to Charlie.
FINAL WORD: Lerman as Charlie is pain ridden, shy, unsure, and scared of his own shadow. Although this might sum up many teens, Charlie’s fears are based on memories that are scattered and foggy. Reaching out he finds friendship and love that are well intentioned and heart felt. Watching Lerman grow Charlie throughout the film is truly gut wrenching.
Miller as Patrick is astounding, beautiful, emotional, funny and packed with his own set of fears. Helping Charlie gives him reason and having Sam gives him motivation to conqueror his own fears created by those who just don’t take the time to understand. Playing this character, Miller made Patrick so easy to love and be afraid for all at the same time.
Watson as Sam is not Hermoine Granger folks! What a beautiful role for this actress to take on as her character endures the pangs of senior year and the last high school love. Taking Lerman’s character Charlie under her wing brings about such endearment but also seeing the same issue’s as Charlie – unable to accept the love we all deserve.
McDermott as Charlie’s father and Walsh as his mother don’t know what to do to help their son and when the young man finally comes clean you see parents wake up before your eyes. Rudd as Mr. Anderson is touching, understanding and even a tad funny.
Other cast include: Johnny Simmons as Brad, Nina Dobrev as Candace, Nicholas Braun as Ponytail Derek, Julia Garner as Susan, Tom Savini as Mr. Callahan, Adam Hagenbuch as Bob, Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth, Erin Wilhelmi as Alice, Reece Thompson as Craig, Zane Holtz as Chris, and Melanie Lynskey as Aunt Helen.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is truly an emotional film dealing with such a wide range of issues that face teens today. The book is a best seller and bringing it to screen could have destroyed the essence of the book.
That being said – it did not! These two actors and one amazing actress embraced these characters and brought depth, emotion and rawness bringing tears to the eyes of most of the audience. Although there have been other films that tackle some of the subjects here and there, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER doesn’t hesitate to call each issue out and show the damage it can do.
Director Chbosky had to be the one to direct this film in order to capture all of these emotions and I applaud him for doing so. To be able to take the deep emotions of the book and be true to it on film is amazing and wonderful.
In the end – right now we are alive, right now we are infinite!