The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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High school explored in poignant ‘Perks’

The cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower including Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson.
Courtesy of Summit Pictures
The cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower including Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson.

The cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower including Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. (Courtesy of Summit Pictures)

Every once in a while, there comes along a movie that defines a previous generation’s awkward high school years.

For some it was The Breakfast Club. For others it was Mean Girls and for those who are still lucky enough to call themselves adolescents, there is The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a suprisingly serious look beyond the halls of high school in the early 1990s.

Based on the book of the same name by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of a Being a Wallflower is one of this fall’s best releases that comes across as both light and layered while telling a story not often told on screen.

The Perks storyline revolves around Charlie, an awkward freshman who is shoved into the cold waters of high school and is forced to navigate the chaos alone.

Charlie is a genius, but like many of his intellectual kind is also severly socially awkward. Charlie finds relief during his freshman year through the acquaintance of Sam and Patrick. Quirky step siblings who enjoy Charlie’s social missteps.

Chbosky not only adapted his book for the screen but also elected to direct the film himself.

The director does a great job of fitting the tightly packed cast that makes up The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

From Charlie’s family to Charlie’s friends, Chbosky had the task of introducing and explaining almost fifteen characters in the movie’s first half hour.

Considering that the film has such a large cast to deal with, it is surprising to see that major name star compile most of the lower, supporting roles. In particular, Paul Rudd delivers a fantastic performance as Mr. Anderson, Charlie’s freshman English teacher who recognizes the main character’s brilliance and challenges him along the way.

Logan Lerman deserves the highest praise for his portrayal of Charlie. For those who have read the book, Charlie is plagues with past secrets and Lerman does a remarkable job of conveying that hidden pain with every smirk, smile and grimace.

Ultimately The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a sweeping victory for Chbosky, who took a huge risk when deciding to direct the film.

However, with a story so rooted in emotion and with supporting character almost oozing of authenticity, something tells me Chobsky didn’t see the same risk. 

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