By LIZ DUCCILLI
Over the fall break, I was given the honor of seeing “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” written and directed by the book’s author, Stephen Chbosky. I didn’t know much about the movie going in because I haven’t read the book yet, but it didn’t matter. I left the theater having thoroughly enjoyed the film because of its humor and relatable life experiences.
The movie tells the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman), a fourteen-year-old starting his freshman year of high school. Charlie, haunted by the death of his aunt, is very withdrawn and has a hard time making friends. Charlie soon meets seniors and step-siblings Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson), who invite him to join their group of senior friends. The group of friends—dubbed ‘The Island of Misfit Toys’ by Sam—welcomes Charlie with open arms and brings him to parties, bonding over mixed tapes and even taking part in several “Rocky Horror Picture Show” reenactments. For a while Charlie dates Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), the goth girl of the group, but he secretly has feelings for Sam and tries to figure out how to tell her. With the help of his friends, Charlie gradually comes out of his shell and finds his place in life.
What I loved about this film, aside from Charlie wearing a T-shirt promoting my favorite musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and a song from the band Crowded House playing in one scene, was the film’s colorful cast of characters. Logan Lerman perfectly portrayed Charlie’s insecurity and deeply troubled past (sorry, no more spoilers!), while still having a few funny moments here and there. Emma Watson was fantastic as the caring yet flirtatious Sam. Whenever she was in a scene, I didn’t see any traces of Hermione in Sam’s personality. It was good to see that she’s stepping out of her comfort zone and exploring new characters after the success of “Harry Potter.” Ezra Miller also stole the show as the comic relief Patrick. I laughed so hard I cried when he strutted around dressed as Frank N. Furter in the “RHPS” reenactments!
The film also showed the relatable trials and tribulations of high school students. The characters did their homework, partied, dated and worried about college. I’m sure any high school or college student can watch this film and relate their school experience in some way to that of the characters.
I highly recommend this film if you want to watch a good, coming-of-age story. I give it 4 1⁄2 out of 5 stars.