2012, USA. (PG-13). Director: Stephen Chbosky. Writer: Stephen Chbosky (novel), Stephen Chbosky (screenplay). Cast: Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Joan Cusack.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower starts as a seemingly classic John Hughes, and the connection between Logan Lerman‘s Charlie, his typewriter, and his English teacher reminds me of Mike White‘s script for Orange County. Yes, guilty as charged – I am a non-reader of the book. As I went to see this movie alone in a late night screening, I completely had no idea about the story. No, not even the premise. And, what a joy I had in no-pressumption.
At around minute forty-five I already whispered, “Please don’t let this movie be over.” I felt the thrill as our repressed antihero dared himself to approach the screen beauty Emma Watson (as Sam) with his every footstep following the beats of “Come On Eileen”. The coming-of-age drama is on the surface about Charlie’s attempt to get through his freshman year at school, and the usual formula applied; he falls for the most beautiful girl, he befriends the know-it-all underdog, and he faces the bullies. Yet, the beauty of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is left unspoken. And the unspoken twist is emerging slowly towards the end, carefully brought up to the surface, and the next thing we know, we could feel the ever-so disturbing scar in the most hidden part of Charlie’s heart. It’s the subtlety that makes this movie very special.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is career-redefining for Logan Lerman. He is perfectly lovable in every frame, and he definitely understands what it is being Charlie. Emma Watson has never been this adorable and alluring before. She is the new Jenny from Forrest Gump, or Penny Lane from Almost Famous. Nobody can resist her. And, Ezra Miller was born for his role as Patrick. No one will be able to deny his charm – not women, not men, not girls, not boys. There is no exaggeration in saying that Miller is the “it” boy in Hollywood now. The threesome ensemble will be as classic as Jules, Jim and Catherine of Truffaut’s Jules et Jim.
Stephen Chbosky wrote the novel, the screenplay, and directed The Perks of Being a Wallflower himself. Two weeks have passed after I saw this movie, and it still lingers until now. And, I still wish that it would last.