The Perks of Being a Wallflower Reviews
While there are humorous and poignant moments, this angst-filled story of tender kisses, awkward dances, friends drifting apart, kindly English teachers, unrequited crushes and drug-addled partying has a nagging sense of deja vu.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" finds an unexpectedly moving freshness in the old cliches by remaining attentive to the nuances of what happens within and between unhappy teenagers.
Chbosky plays this CW serial stuff for maximum earnestness, stressing the teenage tendency to assume that every new thing they're feeling is unprecedented in human history, keeping the tone just-moist-eyed throughout.
This big-screen adaptation, written and directed by Chbosky, doesn't advance the source material, though it preserves the book's sensitive tone and affectionate characterizations.
Stephen Chbosky's script is insightful about the exhilaration of soul-piercing first love, and the misery of being swept into a relationship with someone who's forceful, determined and utterly wrong for you.
It is the remarkable Logan Lerman who negotiates his journey to Charlie's self-discovery with so much dignity and vulnerability that he steals every scene and carries the picture.
Verbal play and smartass-ery weaves through Wallflower, but it's of the predictable variety rather than the wryly observant commentary we'd hope for, like when a bored teen drawls: "That works on so many levels."