It is always exciting when Hollywood decides to recognize amazing works of literature. Recently, Mr. Mudd Productions (produced Juno), hired author Stephen Chbosky to adapt his 1999 novel, The perks of being a wallflower, into a major motion picture.
Released in select cities on September 28, this film is the perfect combination of adolescent humor and dramatic enlightenment. Starring actor Logan Lerman as Charlie, Perks follows the story of a shy teenager facing his first year of high school.
As the book depicts, Charlie is not the average teen; haunted by childhood memories of molestation, Charlie resides within a bubble of insecurity and isolation. This bubble is ruptured, however, when he is befriended by two high school seniors named Sam and Patrick, played by actors Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Sam and Patrick take Charlie under their wing, introducing him to the world of teenage parties, first loves and never-ending high school drama.
The film follows the novel almost perfectly; from Charlie’s journey of friendship, to his breakdown and subsequent hospitalization, it abides by every chapter’s framework. The only variation worth noting is the relationship between Charlie and Sam. Although these characters kissed at one point in the book, their friendship never took quite the romantic turn that it did in the film. Towards the end, the actors’ behavior towards each other can be described as puppy love, yet in the book they never actually became a couple.
The slight variation isn’t exactly surprising, however, as we all know that sex sells in Hollywood. And when you have two good looking celebrities in a PG-13 flick, it is no secret what the audience wants to see.
Despite that truth, it is impossible to ignore the great performances of Lerman, Watson, and Miller. Lerman, known for his roles in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and The Butterfly Effect (2004), proves he is a rising star with his quirky nature that the audience can not help but love. Then there is Watson, the more famous of the bunch, who shows that female characters can be just as complex and intriguing as males, by staging an american accent and daring personality. Last but not least, there is Miller, known for his roles in the films City Island (2009) and Another Happy Day (2011), who portrays his amicable homosexual character with such substance and heart that he completely steals the spotlight.
Ultimately, this movie is a complex and inspiring coming-of-age tale about finding one’s self. It is a short and easy-read for book lovers and a heart-felt, cinematic experience for movie buffs.
Definitely not one to miss.