The Perks of Being a Wallflower doesn’t tackle anything new… drugs, music, sexuality. They have all been dealt with in other stories. Why should that become precedent for impressionable teenagers,
who are more than likely regarded as the target audience, to follow? We follow Charlie (Logan Lerman) on his journey through high school, watching him behave in a way that makes him ‘fit in’
with the crowd such as drinking alcohol and taking drugs. Alongside him are Patrick (Ezra Miller), who has to hide away his sexuality from his peers and Sam (Emma Watson) who is perceived as a
bit of a flirt/hussy/raging whorebag/anything that’s a bit more of a normal word for which she is berated/bad-mouthed/denounced.
Charlie learns that the loneliness he felt before he started high school still remains amongst his new group of friends who kind of take him on as their ‘little pet’ whilst the other characters continue to listen to The Smiths and hate life. Where is the fun in that? And how in any way is that deemed to be ‘cool’? It’s a wonder why so many adults think teenagers are lazy youths these days. USA Today’s quote on the back of the book calls it “a coming-of-age tale in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye…”
At least Holden Caulfield had more of a front to stand up for himself, in contrast to Charlie who just follows the crowd. So for those of you expecting to witness something exceptionally unique in cinema history, then this is not the film for you. It is hard to believe that for such a highly acclaimed novel, this movie could fall so flat.
The journalistic quality of the narrative captured my attention both in the book and the film, but didn’t offer as deep an insight into Charlie that I hoped it would. His character is worryingly sensitive and craves attention which only makes for an aggravating protagonist. The story itself is in no way innovative, nor was it in anyway life-changing and it made for light, impact-less viewing.
To seek any inspiration from this story or its characters would be a lie as this movie does not set a positive example of teenage life to either teenagers or adults. It doesn’t portray the true realities but more a group of teenagers who seek attention. I didn’t come away changed or moved, which is what I seek from a good film.
At some parts, I saw right through the story, to a blatant attempt at tear-jerking and irrational poignancy. The three main and upcoming actors have taken the leap forward into furthering their
acting careers but this film is so dry and positively unoriginal it made the whole thing seem cheap and pointless.