Yes, I am fully aware that this film came out roughly two years ago. And, yes, I saw it at that time. BUT, I completely forgot that I had written a review for it and recently rediscovered the file. As a film I thoroughly enjoyed, I figured it’d be okay to share it 100 weeks late.
Lerman brings to life one of literature’s most complex teens.
For most teenagers, high school’s a tough enough place even when you have things pretty well figured out. But when you’re awkward, quiet, and frequently emotional for reasons you can’t understand, it’s downright painful.
Logan Lerman captures this perfectly in his portrayal of Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s screen adaptation of his critically acclaimed novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Depressed and emotionally damaged, Lerman enters his freshman year of high school hopeful that he can turn things around, fit in, and in some small respect actually enjoy life. This desire is further solidified when he is struck by his first love – a senior named Sam, played by the endearing Emma Watson.
After befriending Watson and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller), Lerman finally has a group of friends. And, he is exposed to the wonders of high school: from a first kiss to getting high for the first time. As Lerman makes the transition, he continues to struggle with his existing emotional issues along with new hurdles that everyone faces when growing up. Addressing his thoughts, feelings, and experiences to “Dear Friend,” an abstract stranger to which he writes letters, Lerman is forced to face a memory he has repressed since the death of his Aunt Helen.
Guided along the way by his English teacher, Paul Rudd, Lerman brings Charlie to life in a powerful role that is a departure from his other work in films like The Three Musketeers and the Percy Jackson franchise. A heart-wrenching coming of age drama, Lerman, Watson, and Miller all deliver moving performances in a film that is well wrapped from production to soundtrack.
While controversial and occasionally assuming, The Perks of Being a Wallflower takes the audience across the emotional spectrum to deal with the issues that plague a fifteen-year-old high schooler. Even if it’s been a while since you were in high school, this is definitely one worth checking out.
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
US Release: October 12, 2012, Summit Entertainment