The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Novel by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age novel and a staple piece of contemporary literature from my generation. Stephen Chbosky presents us the character of Charlie who is writing anonymous, journal-esque letters to an unknown person. Through his letters, we learn a lot about the troubled 15-year-old as this novel takes us through his first year in High School.
Charlie, like most of us once were, is an awkward teenager trying to fit in and make friends, however Charlie has a very difficult past that makes his awkwardness much harder to overcome. When he finds friendship in Patrick and Sam, things begin to change for him and he explores what it means to be a teenager.
I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The characters are so well developed through Charlie’s thoughts and the story is gripping in the most raw and youthful way. It truly is a coming of age story and Charlie is such a memorable person. By the end of the book, you want to reach through the pages, give him a hug, and let him know that you will be there for him.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” – Directed by Stephen Chbosky
The adaptation for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is unconventional and unique in the most awesome way possible; Stephen Chbosky, the novels author, is both the screenwriter and director. This kind of thing rarely ever happens for mooks. Needless to say, since Chbosky played a very important role in the making of this film I went into the viewing expecting flawlessness; I imagined this movie to be as close to a perfect adaptation as it can get with all aspects of the story perfectly weaved into film.
First, I need to commend Logan Lerman on his acting skills. I was definitely skeptical of his performance at first considering the only two roles I’ve seen him in was Percy in “Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and an 8 year old version of the main character, Evan, in “The Butterfly Effect.” Neither were spectacular performances BUT I found him to be so perfect as Charlie in the movie I couldn’t get over it. Kudos to you, Mr. Lerman.
The casting for this film was definitely well done (although I couldn’t help but hear Emma Watson’s British accent no matter how hard I tried). One thing I really loved in this film was the comedy. Particular moments, like when Charlie is tripping on Acid and shoveling a circle of snow, are laugh-out-loud funny and perfectly fitting for the film. The comedy doesn’t come across as well in the book, although there are some funny parts, and Ezra Miller’s performance as Patrick definitely stole the show in terms of one-liners.
Obviously there were things missing. Candace’s role in the film was cut to almost nothing which I was disappointed about but it would have opened up an entirely new dynamic of Charlie’s world that the screen just doesn’t have time for. The one criticism I had was the way in which Sam and Charlie’s “romantic” relationship developed at the end. In the novel, it seems that Sam just wants to show Charlie what it means to be loved where as in the movie her affection towards him was very romanticized. In general, I found this film profoundly moving and an awesome representation of the book. When it comes to translating the story it really didn’t get much better than what Chbosky gave us, and rightly so.
Mook Rating – ★★★1/2