There are 'perks' to seeing "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:10
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” centers around the life of a teenage boy named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is starting his freshman year of high school. Without friends and extremely introverted, Charlie struggles to find his niche until two seniors reach out to him and invite him into their world.
Over the course of the school year, Charlie experiences first love, friendship and self-discovery.
At first, Charlie mistakes his new friends, Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) for a couple, only to learn that they are half-siblings. Patrick and Sam both embrace their status as outsiders and enjoy both the alternative music scene and being artsy.
Their crew consists of other seniors who hold similar tastes. Together they experience high school dances, parties and other events.
Although feeling like an outcast is Charlie’s most evident struggle throughout the movie, it is also discovered that beneath his awkward exterior, Charlie is mourning his best friend’s suicide, dealing with recurring memories of a deceased aunt and coping with his own mental illness.
Charlie becomes infatuated with Sam fairly early into the movie, but is disappointed that she has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend does not treat her well, and he is reminded of his aunt’s abusive relationships.
This is also supplemented by depicting both Charlie’s sister and Patrick being abused by their boyfriends, as well. Later in the movie, he asks his mentor and English teacher why people always fall for the wrong people. This continues to be a theme throughout the movie.
By the end, all of Charlie’s friends from the year leave for college. He then has to learn to go on in high school without them.
However, after some time spent in the hospital for his mental disorder, they leave a stronger, more confident Charlie and remain close through letters and visits.
I did not know much about “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” before going into the movie, and came out pleasantly surprised. It can be classified as a coming of age story but extends beyond the typical “unpopular girl lands rich guy” plot.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” delves into teenage issues from drugs and sex; to feeling lonely and unpopular; to a variety of other struggles a high school student might face. However, the movie is not just geared toward teenagers. Viewers of all ages can relate to and find inspiration in this film.