The (limited) perks of Perks

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s difference from the original novel, unlike many others, can’t be blamed on the director. Steven Chbosky not only wrote the screenplay and directed the film, but is the author of the 1999 novel in which it’s based. This new film has been both compelling and disappointing to the book’s loyal fans, who will always make comparisons to the original book.

The story, as in the novel, is told from the perspective of Charlie, a socially awkward teenage boy who has had his share of troubles in his 15 years, and is now trying to survive his freshman year of high school without any friends.  But soon he meets stepsiblings Sam and Patrick, who introduce him to a group of varying non-conformist, new friends.

Casting is the only factor in the movie that was spot on. The lead role of Charlie is played by the fantastic Logan Lerman, a choice that surprised many fans due to his only previous experience playing young hero Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. The film also features Emma Watson, playing Sam, and a very charismatic Ezra Miller, playing Sam’s stepbrother, Patrick. Together, the two are thick as thieves. They are simply electric and by the end of the film you will fall in love with each of them.

Patrick, especially, is the source of lots’ of laughs with his sassy, feminine personality, but also evokes much sympathy from his hardships. The supporting roles of Mary-Elizabeth (Mae Whitman) and Bill (Paul Rudd) also phenomenal.

Some moments, such as the famous “tunnel scene”, and the Rocky Horror productions were absolutely flawless. Other aspects were frustrating. Though the film had the same overall focus as the book, many events and relationships were cut from the original plot. As a result the movie just skims the depth and complexity of Charlie’s life, and like many other movies based off of books, the book takes the cake here.

My advice? Read the book first, and then go out and see the movie. It’s a B minus worth seeing, but not before reading.

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