#1  
Old 09-13-2012, 10:26 PM
The Perks of Being a Wallflower



Directed by Stephen Chbosky

Written by Stephen Chbosky

Genre: Drama

Plot Outline: An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Starring: Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight

Runtime: 103 minutes


Looks pretty good and I've heard good things. Will see it when it expands.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2012, 10:44 PM
The book was an enjoyable read. With Chbosky at the helm and with a talented young cast (especially looking forward to Miller's performance, he really sold me with We Need to Talk About Kevin) I have little worry that it wont deliver. If it does the book justice this will pretty much be like Freaks and Geeks: The Movie (and of the same quality as that awesome series), and with that being said I'm definitely excited to see it.

Last edited by Reckoner; 09-13-2012 at 10:47 PM..
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2012, 11:17 PM
Long Review:


High school has been a topic for many works of literature and film over the year, from the literary classics like Catcher in the Rye (which this film references) and A Separate Peace to silly films like She’s All That and Jonathan Tucker Must Die and everything in between. The high school age individual is a major target demographic for films as they have little responsibility and lots of spendable cash. They want to go to the movies with their friends. Oftentimes then films about the high school experience are aimed directly at them and are filled with artifice. I like She’s All That as much (or as little) as the next 90s kid, but nothing about it rings true. Great pop artists like John Hughes or Cameron Crowe or more recently Alexander Payne or producer Judd Apatow have tried (and succeeded) to tap into something a little more genuine amidst the stereotypes and crass humor. This is all of course completely ignoring the films that actually try to hit hard like Thirteen or Mysterious Skin. Those may be movies about teenagers, but they aren’t high school movies.

The high school movie is a grand tradition and one that has become less important over the past years. Now with every blockbuster and most comedies and horror films rated PG-13 high school kids have plenty to see and are less interested in films aimed directly towards them. In fact, looking back at the past decade or so only a handful of high school movies stand out as having any sort of importance: Mean Girls, Superbad, Easy A, and some more bizarre choices like Brick , Charlie Bartlett, Rocket Science or even Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. These are all good films and some (especially Mean Girls) are already minor classics, but the genre lacks the soul and heart that Hughes and Crowe brought to it. As young adult literature has become increasingly popular perhaps there’s less room or need for the genuine high school movie. Perhaps the individuals who would care about such a thing are more comfortable reading at home then going out to the movies anyways. I don’t know.

What I do know is that Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (based on his 1999 young adult novel of the same name) is the film I’ve been describing. It takes place in the early 90s and thus doesn’t reflect our current era. It features middle class children with seemingly minor problems compared to something like Precious or Thirteen. I suppose it’s easy to write off as being unnecessary and whiny and angst-ridden, and there are certainly some that will feel that way. At the same time, though, I found that the film tapped into the primal nature of high school I mentioned above. The film takes these “minor” high school issues seriously and doesn’t make light of them. There’s nothing silly about being shy or quiet or lonely. On some days I’m still all of these things today. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a misfit. In fact, the misfits are often the ones who end up the best down the road.

Chbosky is clearly close to this work, and thusly he is able to achieve a sort of magical tone. There’s an aura of sadness and nostalgia radiating throughout the film as the camera calmly floats and lingers like an outside observer. Anchored by Logan Lerman’s incredibly vulnerable and heartfelt portrayal of Charlie, the film achieves a rare level of intimacy. Charlie is an incredibly intelligent and sensitive young man that has faced much loss and alienation in his time. He has a good family (Dylan McDermott and Kate Walsh lend a certain authenticity as his parents), but all he wants to do is survive high school, and at first his only friend (and mentor) is his English teacher (a low-key Paul Rudd). I know I can certainly relate to this feeling in a big way. High school can be a scary, lonely place if you’re deemed even moderately different. Lucky for Charlie, he finds a group of friends that are as “crazy” as he is, including the beautiful and somewhat broken Sam (a lovely Emma Watson, throwing away her Hermione persona) and her step-brother Patrick, portrayed with great charisma and warmth and charm by the wonderful Ezra Miller. Patrick and Sam feel like real humans, not stock high school characters. They have flaws, they have hearts, and they have personalities. Patrick, in particular, is a phenomenal young gay teenage character that is not a victim or a stereotype but a great person and Ezra Miller is in some ways the glue that holds this all together.

What’s even more remarkable about this film is how quiet and beautiful it is. The film captures these rare, simple shared moments of young friendship and love and it allows the characters to pause, think, and talk like real people. There’s nothing flashy or showy about the film. It’s not interested in anything other than Charlie’s experience and his coming of age. He does go through a lot, perhaps too much for one young man. If there’s any artifice it comes in the almost overwhelming amount of issues that Charlie faces, particularly in certain revelations towards the end. I had these issues with the novel too, but I think the film is more successful as making it all feel part of a whole.

For a high school film, though, this is an unusually sensitive and heartfelt work. It argues that the most important thing in this world is a great friend and what you can share with them, whether it be a sad song or a great book or a funny film. This isn’t a boy meets girl story, this is a boy meets friends story. I know that my friends and our shared experiences (good or bad) and love for pop culture is what got me through the tough times in high school, and in that way perhaps Charlie and I are a lot alike. Even though Charlie and his friends did face their melodramatic issues, I think they are effortlessly relatable and understandable characters. I see myself and my friends in them. I feel the nostalgica and magic and sadness of high school permeating throughout this film. Sure, it may all seem a bit silly when you look back at it as an adult, but it captures that moment where driving around with your friends and discovering that perfect song was the most important thing in the world to you. To me, that’s something worth remembering.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 09-21-2012 at 11:37 PM..
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:09 PM
Finally got around to seeing this and it was damn good. It's probably the most interesting portrayal of high school life since Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks. Lerman and Miller are both great, and I really dug the look and tone of the film. It's funny at times, but also unexpectedly dark in places. It's one of the big surprises of 2012, as I honestly thought it was just going to be another cliched high school comedy.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Finally got around to seeing this and it was damn good. It's probably the most interesting portrayal of high school life since Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks. Lerman and Miller are both great, and I really dug the look and tone of the film. It's funny at times, but also unexpectedly dark in places. It's one of the big surprises of 2012, as I honestly thought it was just going to be another cliched high school comedy.
So glad you liked it. Spread the word!
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:13 PM
heard nothing but good things about this
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2012, 10:59 AM
I don't think the marketing for this movie was done very well. Personally, I wasn't really looking forward to it. I thought it was going to be one of those movies that was too hip and ironic for it's own good. Thankfully, I was wrong about that.

Though it does get a little overly wordy at times, this movie is flat out great. There was a real emotional rawness that is rarely seen in any kind of mainstream drama anymore, let alone a high school drama. This movie really captures the profound sadness and longing of a person who just wants to fit in. And it packs one of the most out-of-nowhere emotional sucker-punches of all time towards the end.

This really is a must see. Easily in my top ten of the year.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
I don't think the marketing for this movie was done very well. Personally, I wasn't really looking forward to it. I thought it was going to be one of those movies that was too hip and ironic for it's own good. Thankfully, I was wrong about that.

Though it does get a little overly wordy at times, this movie is flat out great. There was a real emotional rawness that is rarely seen in any kind of mainstream drama anymore, let alone a high school drama. This movie really captures the profound sadness and longing of a person who just wants to fit in. And it packs one of the most out-of-nowhere emotional sucker-punches of all time towards the end.

This really is a must see. Easily in my top ten of the year.
So glad you liked it and I completely agree, obviously.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:26 PM
And I forgot to mention: even though his part was pretty small, Paul Rudd was really good in this. He doesn't do drama very often, but when he does, he's a solid actor.
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:58 PM
Saw this last night on DVD... I really wasn't expecting much from it, i mainly just rented it because I love Emma Watson (even though before 6 months ago I had never seen a single Harry Potter movie, then my friends who are obsessed with them, made me have a marathon of them.. enjoyable!) but I have seen Watson on Late Night and other things, she is just damn gorgeous and seems non douchey!

And with Ezra Miller, I saw and hated We Need To Talk About Kevin, so he wasn't very high on my list.

This movie has to be one of the biggest surprises I've had. I wish I could go back and vote in the Golden Schmoes again to nominate/ vote for this movie for Biggest Surprise.

I don't know if I would say it rang true, in terms of High School, maybe it does, my high school wasn't really like that with people tripping the "nerds"... but the characters were all really well written and acted and Ezra Miller made a fan out of me.

I don't even know if i can go into detail about what specifically I loved, it was just one of those movies that at the end, i said out loud "That was damn good!"

Spoiler:
When it got towards the end, with the Aunt having Molested him, at first I was like "Wait, really?" like i wasn't even sure that is what they were saying, but then he says in narration that the hardest part was when the doctor had to tell his parents about what his aunt had done
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2013, 09:51 PM
Glad you enjoyed it. You should pick up the book too, it's a quick and entertaining read.
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2013, 08:19 PM
Loved it! Was expecting to like it but, wow, this was good. It was very relatable, the acting was fantastic (Lerman especially) and the direction was phenomenal coming from a relative newcomer. A very touching, emotional film.

One question: who was he writing letters to??
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2013, 09:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannywalker17 View Post
Loved it! Was expecting to like it but, wow, this was good. It was very relatable, the acting was fantastic (Lerman especially) and the direction was phenomenal coming from a relative newcomer. A very touching, emotional film.

One question: who was he writing letters to??
Spoiler:
I think it was a journal of some sorts of him due to his loneliness, as a way to be open with his feelings.



The journey of the Introvert is something that is always ripe for films, mostly due to how that personality trait can be so connective to teenagers and adults alike. The feeling of not fitting in with a certain group of people, but having that yearning to do so is hard and frustrating. Hell, I have been that way in the beginning stages of entering the years of High School, so that’s perhaps why Stephen Chbosky’s film adaptation of his own novel, about a troubled, lonely boy (Logan Lerman) who befriends a group of welcoming, extrovert seniors during his freshman year of High School, resonates on some level for me, and probably others who catch this great film.

The greatest advantage that Chbosky has for his film is that he knows the source material, so he has an idea of where to cut corners to keep the film version from over burdened with useless plot lines that hinder, more than help his film. Not having read the book, I can say that his film version handles the many characters and predicaments very well, though there are moments where the film’s pacing feels a bit off kilter. Besides that, the film breezes through its 102-minute run time, allowing everything to have dimension and pathos with the characters on screen.

That’s the second secret weapon for Chbosky being able to create the best form of a book-to-film adaptation; the ability brings his characters from the novel to life. All the actors here are just great, with Logan Lerman bringing a surprising performance as lead character Charlie. Lerman brings awkwardness, as well as an underlying sense that there is something seriously wrong with the teenager. Lerman’s Charlie is a teenager that feels bottled up, emotionally and physically on screen, and there’s always that sense of happiness whenever there’s a human connection that Charlie is finally able to reach out to.

That human connection is stepbrother/stepsister seniors Patrick and Sam (played by Ezra Miller and Emma Watson), the fun outcasts that are usually in every High School clique. They are free spirits that don’t judge, and don’t care if they are being judged. Miller, in particular, is a riot as Patrick, the flamboyant gay teenager that take everything in stride no matter how low it gets. He’s the energy in the background, always waiting to steal a scene when the time calls for it.

As for Watson, she’s essentially playing the girl that takes Charlie’s breath away. She’s a free spirit who has done some mistake in her past, and is hoping to recover from them and look forward to a bright, new future. It’s not a too big of a stretch for Watson, coming off from the Harry Potter trilogy, apart from utilizing an American accent, but she still brings beauty and gravitas that will make the viewer know why Charlie is so enamored with her.

But the true draw to Perks is certainly the screenplay, always willing to throw tonal shifts in the films without it feeling cheap or shock worthy. Chbosky simply knows how to adapt the book that he wrote, allowing things to breath, while also being capable to editing the movie so that the shifts in time and the blooming friendships/relationships all work to their advantage. Every big moment feels earned, complimenting each of the characters’ arcs throughout the film, leaving to a finale that feels right, never cheap.

There are movies that just have that feeling, from clips and trailers, that there’s something good brewing in the cinema world. Perks of Being a Wallflower has the privilege of being relatable to any person who’s had that feeling of being an outsider in High school, while also dealing with the good and bad times the person goes through. It’s the full package of being a relatable, emotional and overall great film.

8.5/10
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2013, 10:26 AM
This was one of my favorite films of the year. I hope she becomes better known than the Harry potter films
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2013, 08:51 PM
Been hearing good things about this for a while and finally got around to Red Box'ing it the other night....this fucking thing pretty much floored me....top 5 of last year for sure IMO. Had me laughing, had me in tears....great little film. Can't wait to add it to my collection.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2013, 10:47 PM
So great to see how much love this movie is getting around these forums. In my eyes it was last year's most underrated, and it definitely holds a place in my top 3 of 2012.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2013, 04:41 AM
Emma Watson <3
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2014, 01:29 PM
Yeah, so... I know I'm really late on this one but it was the best thread I could find to comment on the film.

I watched this for the first time last night and I have to say it is exceptional. I knew nothing about the movie going in and left with the feeling that it is easily one of the best films I've seen in the last 10 years.

It's story touches you on many levels. I love that it represents that sometimes you just need to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone to get the things you want. I also love that it shows you to treat people with kindness, no matter the situation, because you don't know what has happend in their lives to get them to where they are. This should be required viewing for all high school aged kids.

Emma Watson should have gotten an Oscar nomination for this role, not a win, but a nomination at least. In all of her other roles I feel like i'm watching Hermoine on screen. I didn't feel that for a second with this.

One of my most favorite things in life is blind watching a movie and having it turn out great. It happens to me every 1, 2, maybe 3 years and when it happens I remember why I love movies so much. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of these films!

I can't recommend it enough.

9/10 - Nearly perfect, would have been a 10/10 but the ending felt a bit rushed and incomplete in parts.
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