I’ve read the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” a number of times (it’s brilliant, of course) and I just re-read it a few days ago in preparation for seeing the film today. I was so anxious to see it, and I got SO angry every time new cities were released and it wasn’t mine. But finally, here it is.. and here’s my thoughts. Under the cut to stay spoiler-free!
One way to summarize how I felt about the movie: amazing. I thought it was absolutely perfect and, as lame as it might sound, both the book and the film were life-changing.
I loved the shots of Pittsburgh – it’s one of my favorite cities in the world, so I knew it would be good. The shot they used coming out of the tunnel at night was everything that is great about Pittsburgh – the lights, the bridges, the river, the feeling. It gave me absolute chills. I also liked how they put in small Pittsburgh references that you might not have caught otherwise – like King’s, Schenley Park, and talking about the Penguins.
The actors and actresses chosen, I thought, fit the roles so nicely. I thought Logan portrayed Charlie extremely well, and I loved how they tied the letters into the film. It’s tough to convert a book written in that style to a film, but I think they did a good job. I understood Charlie and his emotions, I felt the awkwardness and the loneliness he felt, I grasped it all. I think he had just the right amount of darkness to him.
Emma as Sam…. I am a HUGE fan of Emma as an actress, not just in HP but her other projects as well, such as Ballet Shoes. I thought she was wonderful – soft and kind when she needed to be, then harsher with Charlie when she had to be. Her performance in Rocky Horror, well… hot damn.
Finally, Ezra as Patrick. At the beginning of the film, I was almost a little annoyed because I thought he seemed way too flamboyant, and Patrick in the book didn’t come off that way to me. But I warmed up pretty quickly, and I thought he ended up being a really good Patrick. He was just the right amount of eccentric.
The other characters: The actor who played Brad was good (my only thing is he reminded me so much of Patrick Kaleta, but that’s not his fault, it’s just his face.) Charlie’s sister.. I was a bit hesitant because Nina is a pretty big actress, but I’m glad they didn’t make a big deal out of it. I didn’t like Derek much, but… you’re not really supposed to, so that works. The actors playing Mary Elizabeth, Alice and Bob were well-suited for their roles, I thought.
They did leave out Charlie’s sister’s pregnancy, but I think it would have added more time to the film than they wanted. I’m glad they left in the part where Derek hit her, though, because that’s crucial to the “We accept the love we think we deserve” part. I liked Charlie’s relationship with his teacher and the books, and I was okay with how they portrayed the Aunt Helen thing. I thought it was tasteful and well-done, in a way that showed how it haunted Charlie and how he “got bad” sometimes.
They also left out how Patrick went to the golf course to meet men, but I understand – again, it was something they could cut out without majorly affecting things. I thought the Patrick/Charlie kiss scene was well-done… so was the Sam/Charlie scene with the typewriter and their first kiss. I thought the drug scenes were good, too. They could have easily spent more time on that, but they put enough in to show how Charlie was affected by the drugs without making it a 10-minute scene.
I saw someone else comment on how they downplayed the “I feel infinite” line, but.. I think it was perfect. Yes, that’s often put out as the ~big~ quote of the book – and it definitely is one of them – but I like how they just made it part of the film. Personally, I had chills during that scene and that line, and also during the whole “We accept the love we think we deserve” thing, too.
I can honestly say that I loved every bit of this film. I thought it was brilliant, absolutely perfect, and it really made me think about things, you know? In that way, it was life-changing. It was one of those movies that when I walked out of the theater, not only did I feel different – I was already asking myself when I could go see the film again.