The Perks of being a Wallflower

Based on Director Stephen Chbosky’s novel, ‘Wallflower’ is another addition to the teenage angst genre.  Since James Dean shocked 1950’s America with his rebellious ways, there have been many movies exploring teenage tribulations.  Luckily for script-writers such personality traits have been easily adaptable for comedy, drama and even science-fiction.  ‘Wallflower’ is a mix of humorous pathos as it explores some adolescent’s troubled journey into adulthood.


Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a school student desperately trying to fit in.  Unwelcome in any of the ‘cool crowds’ he finds the loneliness difficult.  When he meets fellow school students Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), he discovers a whole new world.  Becoming firm friends, each learn something about the other.  With various pitfalls testing their bond, their lives take interesting turns as they navigate teenage life.


‘Wallflower’ succeeds due to its authenticity.  Whilst packing much into its year-long timeframe, the situations feel genuine.  Everyone has either known or has been on the outer at some point in life, with Charlie’s awkward social skills relatable.  In Sam and Patrick he finds kindred spirits rebelling against isolation and conformity.  Their personalities draw him out of his introverted ways allowing him to enjoy life on his own terms.


Chbosky’s direction draws the best from his performers who handle the film’s occasionally dark themes with skill.  Lerman in particular conveys the painful trauma his character experiences with effectiveness and is more than matched by Watson and Miller.  There’s little of the patronising nature some teen based movies have with no easy answers given to issues arising.  The way issues are interwoven with the humour and drama makes it consistently watchable.


‘Wallflower’ is a strong production making good use of its fine cast.  Teenage based movies will always endure with future endeavours hopefully as satisfying as this engaging movie.


Rating out of 10:  8


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