I’m totally drained. Maybe it’s just because it’s a Friday and it’s been a long week. But really I know it’s because “The perks of being a wallflower” is a pretty emotionally intense film. That said, I think you have to be a certain kind of person for this film to resonate with you particularly. As a bit of a wallflower myself I suppose that’s why this happily pressed any of my buttons it could find.
It centres around dewy-eyed teen Charlie (Logan Lerman out of Percy Jackson), still reeling from desperate personal tragedy and starting high school as a thoughtful, self-conscious and introverted guy. He finds his feet, ending up in the company of bouyant and potentially annoying Patrick (Ezra Miller out of We Need To Talk About Kevin) and Sam (Emma Watson out of … HERMIONE).
The plot follows his progress through his freshman year, and his developing relationship with Patrick, Sam and their group of friends. There are revelations about the three main characters’ back-stories, with several tough issues in there but they don’t feel jammed in there to make the film relevant or – worse still – ‘gritty’.
But I think I was trying not to cry about 6 times throughout the film, mostly I think down to Charlie. Logan really nails the performance. He’s not a wimp, nor does his awkwardness come across as anything other than totally endearing. I really just didn’t want anything bad to happen to him, or for him to feel bad, and his apologetic smile breaks your heart. Perhaps I associate with his personality to his extent – though I haven’t had the sorts of experiences that led to him being like that.
Hermi… sorry, Sam and Patrick were both well fleshed-out and good foils to Charlie. Fun-loving and extroverted but protective of Charlie, they maybe came out with a few naff one-liners (sadly most of which were bigged up for the trailer), but they balanced the tone well.
I don’t like to go too far into the plot in case you want to watch it, but honestly I want to get this on DVD so I can have a good cry. Really loved it, and managed to get past the cringier parts of the dialogue – thankfully few and far between – and feel that this could well be the best film I’ve seen this year.
Just don’t watch this trailer. Or if you do, please don’t listen to “We are infinite”, or especially “Welcome to the island of misfit toys”, or even “We accept the love we think we deserve”. Those are probably the most jarringly sickly lines of the movie, so don’t worry.