Stephen Chbosky takes his own acclaimed young adult novel and turns it into a charming nineties-set film about the pain of being a teenager, one that’s especially memorable thanks to a superb performance from Ezra Miller (best known for his role in We Need To Talk About Kevin).
Charlie is a shy freshman who doesn’t fit in (his best friend is his teacher). He discovers there’s more to life than school, however, when he befriends extrovert Patrick (Miller) and his stepsister (Sam), and between them they experience every teen cliché, from teen suicide and acid trips to getting stoned. (And just to show Emma Watson has left Harry Potter pal Hermione behind, she even gets to dress up in fishnets at a local showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – what would Dumbledore say?)
With a nineties soundtrack and nice performances from the leads, this has lots to recommend it even if the script is sometimes clunky and the direction rather lacklustre. While it may not be a classic teen flick like The Breakfast Club or a timeless heartbreaker like Say Anything, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is nonetheless an entertaining movie, and a decent adaptation of a terrific book.
Is The Perks Of Being A Wallflower suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
None. Do note that the film does contain drug and sex references, and is aimed at children over the age of 12.