Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Matinee: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

 Full disclosure:  I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK!  Do you know how disturbing this is for me?  But my daughter really wanted to see this movie and a sliver of time opened before us on a Saturday night, so I cringed and went for it.  It goes against all my rules.

My expectation going in?  Fluffy, slightly angsty, high school drama.  I figured I'd walk out having been mildly entertained.  However, I do love Emma Watson.  She is just so darned cute.  And Ezra Miller is...intriguing.  He played such a chilling, cold-blooded sociopath in "We Need to Talk About Kevin", he is hard to ignore.  Dude can't help but stand out. 

The result?  I LOVED this movie.  Probably even more than my daughter, which seems unlikely but true.

So, I suppose that the 97% of you that HAVE read the book will need no synopsis.  But for the three of you that know nothing about the plot, let me fill you in.

 Charlie is entering his freshman year of high school with some baggage.  Yes, he is bookish and shy, but his best friend also recently committed suicide.  And there are some older demons rattling around in his brain from his childhood.  He is painfully but doggedly attempting to streamline himself into the real world, and belong.

Enter Patrick and Sam (Ezra Miller, Emma Watson)...step-siblings, seniors, worldly misfits.  They sense Charlie's desperate need for a friend, and they see in him as a kindred spirit.  They pull him into their pot brownie-eating, Rocky Horror Picture Show-performing, mix tape-loving band of misfits.  They embrace Charlie for who he is deep inside, faults and all.  They do not judge.  And while the group appears to not have a care in the world, they are each suffering in different ways.  

There were so many things that blew me away about this movie.  It transcended the typical high school movie about fitting in and crushes and mean girls.  These were not your cookie-cutter teenagers.  One was a Buddhist, one compulsively stole jeans from the mall, one was battling a reputation of promiscuity, one was gay.  Issues of drugs and alcohol, mental illness, sexual orientation, and sexual abuse were addressed, but it never seemed to get bogged down.  Despite the very serious issues, most of the time I had a shit-eating grin on my face because I loved these kids.  

The closest thing I could compare this to is a smarter, edgier, hipper The Breakfast Club.    

The performances of Emma Watson and Ezra Miller were outstanding.  They were irrepressible, visceral, and exhilarating to watch.  They made a great movie unforgettable.  There has been some rumbling about this movie with regards to the Oscars...probably long-shots, but the fact that it has been mentioned makes my heart happy.  There is no doubt in my mind that I must read this book, and I must own this movie.  

5 out of 5 stars  



15 comments:

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

I need to watch this, and you need to read the book asap! It's wonderful.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I must see this, and must read the book! But I know if I don't read the book first, I won't do it!

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read the book either but thought the movie was very well made. Your review of it is so much better than mine - makes me think I should just throw in the towel.

Jenny said...

I've heard such great things about this! I really want to see it but I am going to try to read the book first. :)

annieb said...

I often see the movie before I read the book and I like it that way for several reasons: 1. I am terrible at picturing people and places in my mind and, really, it doesn't seem to diminish my enjoyment of a book, but if I see the people and places in a movie or TV show and then read the book I can picture it better; 2. I can't read every book out there, so I find a lot of books through movies I like; 3. sometimes the book is so much better than the movie, it kind of fleshes the movie out and sometimes the movie is better which is ok, too; 4. I don't have rules about this because overall it works out pretty well, and once in a while, To Kill a Mockingbird, for instance, both are sensational. Maybe this works for me because I am the type of person who doesn't really like surprises that much and to know how something ends, doesn't bother me. I always read the spoilers. Your review is great and I may even read the book and see the movie. To Bermudaonion: Please don't throw in the towel. I read your review first and liked it as well. Just different styles is all.

Jenners said...

I've heard this movie is amazing. As is the book. And the fact that the author directed the movie makes me think it is true to the book. Must see!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I'm so glad you loved it! I have read the book, but I thought the movie was just breathtaking. I think a big part of the reason why is because the author himself directed it. I think it will stand up for future generations as well!

Julie P. said...

Great review. Definitely want to see this one. Maybe I should read the book first!

Jenners said...

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caite said...

This is a movie I would never go to see..but now I am won over.

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

OMG I loved this book. Like, to the depths of my soul loved it. So I must see this movie.

Zibilee said...

I am one of the three that has never read the book, but the movie does sound intriguing, and just like something that a certain friend and I would love for an afternoon matinee. I need to make the time for this. It sounds very intense and real, but not totally angsty and whiny. Very nice review today!!

Tasha B. said...

I have to admit the title doesn't really grab me.

Alyce said...

I was one of the three who didn't know much about the book - I have heard it is excellent though. I wanted to see the movie just because of Emma Watson, but so many people have recommended both the book and movie that I know I will at least read the book sometime soon.

stacybuckeye said...

I haven't read the book, but really do want to see the movie. I love The Breakfst Club so a comparison to that is a plus :)