The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13) - Runtime: 102 minutes
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Director: Steven Chbosky
I'm going to say it right now: this movie is an instant classic. I don't doubt that 10, 20 years from now this movie will be considered among the pantheon of high school comedies/dramas. That's how good this movie is - Steven Chbosky adapted his novel for the screen and directed it superbly. It's amazing what this first-time director has done. It's one of the most honest and brutally poignant movies of the year - a must see for everyone.
The story follows Charlie, an introverted freshman who befriends a couple of senior "outsiders." There's a lot going on in this movie - you find out immediately that Charlie's best friend committed suicide last year and he still struggles with his Aunt's death, whom he was very close to. But in swoops the energetic Patrick and his stepsister, Sam. They welcome him in and Charlie soon learns to cope with his mental illness and deal with his past. Now this sounds really dark (and yes, the movie does touch on a lot of issues), but I would say I laughed a lot during this movie. Patrick is the overly-flamboyant gay kid trying to navigate the treacherous waters of high school without getting beat up all day. And Sam has her own sordid past that's she's trying to overcome.
There's so many wonderful things about this movie - I don't want to spoil any of it because it's just fun to see how things unfold throughout the school year for the trio. The first party Charlie attends is laugh out loud funny and I was immediately impressed by how Logan Lerman acted. I've only seen him in one other movie, the abysmal Percy Jackson, so I wasn't expecting much from him, but he blew me away at playing the awkward wallflower. And Emma Watson - she's magnificent. This girl can act and not once did I think "Oh, it's Hermione with her hair cut off!" She's that good, as well as Ezra Miller, who plays Patrick. It's a great cast and you even get Paul Rudd playing the wise and adorable English teacher. Seriously, this is the second time I've seen him play a teacher in an indie comedy and he's perfect!
Like I said earlier, there's some dark issues in this movie and they all come bubbling up near the end of the movie. I can honestly say I knew something major was going to happen, but I didn't expect the outcome at all. It was a brutal revelation and it makes you want to re-watch it again just so you can understand all that's happened. Not to say there's a brilliant twist at the end, just that the movie doesn't reveal everything in the beginning about Charlie's past.
I loved every minute of this movie and it's certainly in my top 5 (maybe top 3?) for movies this year!
Rating: See It!