High school movies were so five years ago. Starting with the release of “Mean Girls” in 2004 and ending with the “High School Musical” trilogy, the movie industry has been obsessed with churning out incredibly unrealistic movies based on the high school life, leading to failures such as “Jennifer’s Body” and “Grease 2.”
Fortunately, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has tactfully avoided such a problem, thanks to Stephen Chbosky’s adaption of his own 1999 semi-autobiographical novel by the same name.
From the producers of “Juno,” “Perks” was advertised as a funny, cute and quirky teenage indie film, and it does not disappoint.
Charlie (Logan Lerman), fresh out of a stay at a mental institution, looks forward to starting high school and making new friends. But because Perks is a high school movie, this is not the case until Charlie falls in with a clique of seniors, including Patrick (Ezra Miller), Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman) and Sam (Emma Watson). Although it seems that Charlie begins falling for the light-hearted Sam, the real storyline isn’t in his love life, it is seeing Charlie come out of his wallflower shell with the help of his new friends.
Although “Perks” begins with a light tone, the film progressively moves towards the deeper issues of high school, exploring hushed up problems that make the movie incredibly relatable for the high school audience.
Praised by Roger Moore (GeulphMercury) as “The Breakfast Club” for the new millenium, “Perks” is unique in the aspect that the movie’s screenplay is both written and directed by the book’s original author. The result is a movie that is equally charming and nostalgic, a film that captures the issues of ‘90s youth and makes it relatable to the adolescents of today. The end result is wistful, dramatic, but oh so lovable.
Perks of Being a Wallflower is sure to be a modern classic, one that will rival the likes of classics Mean Girls and The Breakfast Club.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
1 hour, 43 minutes
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references and a fight- all including teens
Directed by Stephen Chbosky
With: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd
Opinion: A moving, well-made film that depicts teen experiences as they should be, in both the excitement and solidarity of youth.