the perks of being a wallflower

Before my long marathon of TOP 10 posts commences I discovered I ought to review The Perks of Being a Wallflower because as seen from the delicious picture of popcorn – it was my favorite! I was contemplating a lot on the fact if it deserves the best or not, but I finally thought to leave my negativity out the door. For good reason I might add, Chbosky’s book got to me when I read it, around that time I heard it was going to be a movie, and it was a joy to see it come to life in the hands of the author himself. Isn’t that the best way to translate a medium onto the screen in terms of truth, honor and integrity?

Putting a story from a book to a screen must be very difficult in terms of getting all the right elements to work. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (from now on Perks cause that title is a space stealer) is written in a form of letters by Charlie (Logan Lerman) but the movie solved it with ease and didn’t emphasis it that heavily, making the justified voice over sequences well balanced with the overall movie. Plus, the voice overs offered some great wisdom so they were not just to describe the plot nor develop the character, it had lessons and quotes that will get very much attention on Tumblr.

Another thing I noticed was my lack of awareness of the actual time this movie took place in. It’s during the 90’s for sure, with the mixed tapes and all, but the movie itself doesn’t really feel as something that is in the past, it is very current and could be applied to generations to come. It’s timeless: yes, timeless is the right word for Perks because it does have that feel of being infinite. The movie’s presence itself reminded me of Whip It, and a little bit of Juno, both in terms of the little elements that made it look old school and vintage but the stories themselves were not emphasizing the time. It’s hard to explain, I only have had these moments with those three movies so I’m guessing their special. Another thing that was special with Perks was the casting.

Logan Lerman has not been on my radar for long, probably because he’s so young and I would feel weird (not that I don’t already). But his skills surprised me a lot in Perks and I’m glad Chbosky, who I think had a say in the casting as well, picked him because he was perfect as Charlie. Lerman has this quiet and innocent look to him, he is, by the lack of a better word, sweet to his core. Yet, he manages to suppress that and be totally different – he’s one to watch for sure. Though, for sure his appeal in the role was slightly due to Charlie’s irony and sarcasm that came across just when those were needed. Another person I loved in his role, who already was on my radar, was Ezra Miller. Oh, Ezra! How that kid went from the evil Kevin to a sweet and lovable Patrick is beyond me. Those two shined and definitely stole the attention from all the girls on the screen. The chemistry between Lerman and Miller makes me sad that Perks doesn’t have a sequel because I would want to see these two together again.

perksBefore I continue with the love letter to Perks, I’m gonna get to the minor crack in the whole movie. Hereby I will agree with Cinematic Corner who said Emma Watson was too shy for the role. At first I didn’t agree but when I watched the movie for the second time (yes, I’m telling you, I love this movie) I certainly saw what she was talking about. In my eyes, Watson’s innocence is probably her reflection of her Harry Potter character – everything bad has to be justified and being easy is definitely not one of those things. I mean, she hold out on Ron for 7 years!, she knew she liked him for at least 4 of them so.. I know it’s bad to compare a character to the actress but Watson was pretty young when she started with Hermione, I can’t help to wonder if she kind of became her, at least in terms of being so constricted and shy with her sexuality. Unlike other actresses in Perks.

For instance, Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth seemed to be an expert of sexuality because she was far more comfortable in her body as well as her role. I believed her in every step of the way and it was also amusing to see Whitman with her actual real life boyfriend on the screen. For those who don’t know,  the boyfriend is Landon Pigg, who played opposite to Ellen Page in Whip It (oh my infinite knowledge that I didn’t even have to dig up from IMDb…). Another character I liked, was Candace portrayed by Nina Dobrev. She didn’t have a very big role but I still love her, I think that what makes The Vampire Diaries one of the best teen-shows is actually the level of acting and Dobrev proves that by succeeding in movie roles as well. She has a lot of emotion and she carries it off, I think that’s why I like her and the characters she brings to life. And since we’re talking of characters, how sweet it was to see Paul Rudd as Mr. Anderson. Again I have to credit the fact that I love Rudd for being the reason why I loved Mr. Anderson. I thought his hug with Charlie was so cute!

Without giving away the end game, I will end the review with why I loved Perks as much as I did. Mostly it has to do with my own experience in high school. Don’t get me wrong, in terms of the stories, there aren’t many connections except the writing thing but those feelings Charlie and the other characters had, they are so easily adapted to many experiences. As far as teen movies go, I prefer this over Pitch Perfect, over Mean Girls, over Clueless and so on, because it doesn’t seem fake. Chbosky wrote a book that I loved and then he made that book come to life. Similar to my situation with The Hunger Games, I could not love the movie because it had come from a very great place. With Perks the winning moment was its casting and feel of it, plus, the way the letters were transformed into a story without using the voice over as something to rely on when things got difficult. I applaud Chbosky, I applaud Lerman and Miller – those three guys really made Perks into a movie that I will watch over and over again, each time loving it a bit more because it is infinite.


  • Good review Ray. One of my favorites of the year as everything was just working right away, and it also probably helped-out that I just got out of high school, so I could definitely connect a lot more with this material.

  • nägin kunagi selle filmi treilerit ja mõtlesin, et võiks täitsa vaadata, nii-et sinu review oli siinkohal heaks meeldetuletuseks. ma üldse tahaks järgmisel aastal rohkem filme vaadata. praegu on olukord ikka väga nutune selles vallas.
    kusjuures, ma ei suuda otsustada, kas Nina meeldib mulle näitlejana või mitte. vahel nagu täitsa meeldiks, aga siis jälle mõjub tema roll Vampiiripäevikutes mulle kuidagi häirivalt/tüütult.. nagu katkine plaat ühesõnaga, sest no otsustagu juba ära, kumba ta siis lõpuks tahab. see pidev meele muutmine mõjubki vist häirivalt.. aga see pole praegune teema muidugi 😛

    Maikeni blogi – part of me

    • Kusjuures, väga šokeeriv on eesti keeles kommentaari lugeda, kuidagi harjumau! Rõõm Sind siin näha!
      Ja filmimeeldetuletusteks võin ikka olemas olla.

      PS: Uus TVD hooaeg lahendas tegelikult selle nö “kõikumise” täiesti oivaliselt ära. Olgugi, et ta oli tegelasena mõnikord kahe venna vahel, siis valis ta ikkagi Stefani ja nüüd on siis see plot twist, mis mängib valikule kaasa. Super! 😀

      • mulle küll ei tundunud, et ta väga kindlameelsena sinna autosse istunud oleks 😛 ja pealegi Stefanit kindlasti häirib see väike “seiklus” Damoniga. aga eks näis, mida 17. jaanuari episood toob. ootan kõiki oma lemmiksarju nagu hull juba 😀

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