I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) The Perks of Being a Wallflower a couple of years ago. I didn’t realise that I had forgotten so much of it until I saw the film. In a way I wish that I had re-read the book before I saw the film, but maybe this way it makes it easier for me to judge the film as a film in its own right rather than in comparison to the book.
The trailer doesn’t really tell you that much about the film. Charlie is more that just a kid who is unpopular but manages to make some great friends. I can’t decide how much of him the trailer should reveal however. If I hadn’t read the book then knowing more about Charlie may have made me want to see the film more, but then it may have made my enjoyment of the actual film suffer because I might so into it knowing to much.
I did enjoy the film immensely. It was funnier than I remembered the book being, but that only seemed to serve to highlight the more serious moments because of the contrast. In fact some of the most serious moments were almost scary, you could certainly imagine how Charlie might actually feel at some of those points.
I remembered loving Patrick in the book, and I loved him in the film too. The only real problem I had was that maybe they made him to much of a humorous character. His serious side was there but not really enough.
I had been unsure about the choice of Emma Watson as Sam. It’s very easy just to see her as Hermione, plus she never really gave an impression of being quirky in the was Sam is. However I was pleasantly surprised. She really did manage to pull it off. I think in fact it was a good role for Emma to go for, you really couldn’t be much further from Hermione.
The main problem I would say I had is that the end seemed a bit like it had been stuck on. Although the events at the end were very important it did feel like two endings had been made and then just stuck together, and the very end seemed rather rushed.
I would certainly recommend it.
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
I really really liked this. It’s been compared to Catcher in the Rye and I can see why, it has a similar tone and both have a teenage boy speaking. However I didn’t feel like I related to Holden whereas Charlie reminded me quite a lot of myself in high school (but more so). Of course me going to an all girls school made me even more innocent than him… I related quite well to him. I suppose mainly it was his thing of not getting involved, just watching that felt like me, I had my friends but I was a bit of a loner. I liked the characters a lot too. I think probably Sam was my favourite, I can imagine being friends with Sam. She seemed to be the one who cared most for Charlie too and actually the one who was trying to help her. I liked Bill too, he was like the perfect teacher. One who actually cared for his pupils and wanted to get the best out of them rather than just getting them through the exams.
It’s a very quick and easy read but really has some substance, it doesn’t really loose anything for it. I suppose I would change something and that would be to see a bit more about how the surprise revelation affected him, but having said something in a way everything we had read showed that.
My sidebar tells me that there is going to be a film of The Perk of Being a Wallflower, written by Chbosky himself. Seeing as he is writing it I think it could be really good. Apparently Emma Watson and Logan Lerman will be in it. Lerman looks pretty close to how I imagined Charlie, maybe a little more pretty boy but Watson isn’t how I imagine any of the female characters, maybe she could be Charlie’s sister but I certainly cannot see her as Sam.