“The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s novel of the same name, follows the story of troubled teenager Charlie, played by Logan Lerman of Percy Jackson fame, and his struggles as he begins his first year of high school. Anyone who felt awkward or out of place during their own time in high school will immediately relate to the character of Charlie, who enters the school with no friends and terrible social skills. He manages to meet and befriend two of his senior classmates, the quirky step-sibling combo of Sam and Patrick, played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, and eventually he finds acceptance in a new group of friends. What follows is an emotional, dramatic and often funny experience that changes Charlie’s life forever.
The film retains signs of its origin as an epistolary novel in occasional monologues from Charlie as he writes letters to an imaginary friend. In them he reveals much about his character including previous issues with depression, but as he begins to spend more time with his newfound friends the letters become infrequent asides. The interactions the others have with Charlie show their effect on his character, as he grows and becomes a more active and stable individual. The major arc of the plot revolves around the feelings that Charlie develops for Sam as they continue to spend time together, including helping her study to improve her SAT scores for admission into her college of choice. Through the rollercoaster journey of Charlie’s first year as a high school student their relationship remains the focus, but other subplots involving Patrick, a sudden an unintended relationship, and Charlie’s dark past.
The actors all deliver remarkable performances; though through valiant effort Watson’s native accent still slips through, but at every given opportunity, Miller is the real scene-stealer. His character Patrick, an eccentric and hyperactive senior with a unique energy, is an attention grabber any time he appears on camera. The supporting cast is full of quirky misfits, who all fit into their roles well and on a whole the cast believably portrayed a band of outcasts and social rejects.
Overall, the film was very enjoyable. The plot was full of emotion and surprises and the actors delivered it excellently. The movie is one that viewers can reflect on and use to think about their own lives and how they view other and, cliché as it sounds, the importance of friendship shines through.