Movie Review: Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sarah Pine , Contributor

Going along with my book review, I decided to watch the movie adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Created in 2012, twenty years after the book was set, Charlie’s story came to the screen. Starring Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam, and Ezra Miller as Patrick, the movie follows the same plotline as the book, with Charlie recounting his high school experience through letters. Of course, the whole movie can’t just be a kid writing letters in his room, so it mixes both Charlie’s personal narration of  his story along with the camera documenting his direct experiences for viewers. 

Normally, I don’t like movie adaptations of books, but I actually liked this movie. Of course, it left out some of the major plot lines of the book; some of my favorites being Charlie’s friendship with his English teacher and the numerous arguments that ensued between his siblings, but generally, the movie adhered to the novel’s plot, and it didn’t add any new plotlines or scenes unlike many movie adaptations. Being that the movie was written and directed by Chbosky, this was expected, and I can see his attempt to keep Charlie’s written experience authentic to the screen. The movie did a good job of capturing Charlie’s honest, innocent spirit, while also showcasing the whimsical, fun scenes of his friends recreating the Rocky Horror Picture Show and throwing many parties. Despite some plot points being removed, the storyline still flowed nicely, and in general, was easy to follow. It is hard for me to say how sensical the movie presented the main plot points, as I had just finished reading the novel when I watched the movie, but overall, I think that if you were to watch the movie without reading the novel, you would be able to enjoy Charlie’s complex personality and interesting experiences without feeling left-out. The movie also effectively captures the subtlety of very serious issues, as the book did, and leaves the viewer with just enough information to infer about the surprising plot twist at the end. Charlie is a very raw, realistic character, and the movie portrays that accurately, without glorifying any of his experiences. Also, one thing that I appreciate is that the characters look like they’re in high school. Nowadays, that is very difficult to come by, as obviously older actors are more often casted in teen roles to glorify the high school experience. 

Overall, I would recommend this movie. Of course if you were to choose, I would recommend the book first, but if you aren’t much of a reader, the movie is great as well.