Movie Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower + Giveaway
When you hear someone is making one of the seminal books of your youth into a movie, there is always a teensy burst of panic. You want to clutch your dog-eared copy tightly, and scream “NO! Get your grubby Hollywood fingers OFF my book! You’re going to ruuuuuuuuuin it!” Especially when that book is as beloved and as seemingly unadaptable as Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Thanks to Summit Entertainment, we got to see an early screening of the film, and I can now say that the panic and fear was completely misplaced. The movie IS different from the book—Charlie isn’t sitting around narrating letters all day. We see the events unfold in real time, but there is still a focus on Charlie’s perspective and his feelings.
This adaptation could have fallen so very flat, but it was unbelievably real, and honest, and beautiful. The movie manages to stay true to the heart of the story while allowing beloved characters to shine.
A few reasons this film worked so well:
Logan Lerman is the PERFECT Charlie:
This kind of surprised me. When I first heard Logan Lerman had been cast, I thought, ARE you serious? He’s too good-looking, too suave, too…not-Charlie. Man can this guy do vulnerable though. There is considerably less crying than in the book, but Lerman’s got these watery blue eyes that look like they’re going to start spilling at any second.
Logan’s Charlie is absolutely the guy I remember from the book—incredibly sensitive, empathetic, intelligent, and damaged.
Emma Watson Does Sam Proud
As the object of Charlie’s affections, Sam has to be lovable and charming and beautiful, but not in an overstated way. “Unconventionally beautiful” would be best. Before hipsters were cool (and then hated with the force of a million suns), Sam was going to thrift shops and buying typewriters for her friends in total earnestness.
Emma totally has the girl-next-door with quirk and taste down to an art. I completely expected Emma to be an amazing Sam, so I wasn’t too surprised when she delivered marvelously.
Ezra Miller is a total scene stealer
I remember Patrick being a great character, but I do NOT remember laughing every single time he was mentioned in the book. Or being completely mesmerized by his hurt and fear and pain in several crucial scenes with a certain football player.
I think this was the biggest pleasant surprise about the movie—the film accomplished the feat of turning characters you liked through Charlie’s eyes in the book into characters you LOVE through their own actions in the movie.
Perks: Making Misfits Look Good Since 1991
Charlie’s group of friends in this movie will make you nostalgic for your high school friends (even if you’re still in high school!). Anyone, of any age, can relate to these struggles to fit in and figure it all out, and that wonderful elation you feel when you finally find your tribe. However wacky and unusual and “misfit toys”-like they may be.
Stephen Chbosky Wrote and Directed the Movie
This could not be a more personal project for Chbosky. At our screening, he answered audience questions, and admitted that the movie necessarily deviated from the book, and omitted certain plotlines. But it happened in a way that was true to the spirit of the book.
I think Chbosky made the right decisions, and focused in on exactly the right moments. Whether you’ve read the book or not, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the movie—it is a well-crafted narrative that brings the joys and lows of high school into vivid focus.
You can see the movie in any one of these cities:
Grand Prize: 1 SIGNED movie tie-in edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower + a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack
3 Runner-up Prizes: A copy of the movie tie-in edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Ways to enter:
- Certain songs hold significant meaning for Charlie, and affect him deeply. Let us know a song that means something to you and why in the comments.
- Post a piece of fan art to the Perks of Being a Wallflower tumblr (hey, Emma Watson may tweet it!). Include a link in Rafflecopter.
- Tweet about the giveaway.
- Free Entry
Contest ends 9/30.
a Rafflecopter giveaway