Saturday, February 23, 2013


The daughter and I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower last night. Being a bookstore guy, I've sold many dozens of copies of the book over the years, many of them since the film came out. Not having a TV, however, I only saw the trailer for the movie about a week or two ago. I mentioned to my daughter that I wouldn't mind seeing it. It magically appeared in the mailbox soon after (Though I'm pretty sure she planned on watching it before I said anything).

To my surprise and delight, I discovered in the opening credits that the book's author, Stephen Chbosky, not only wrote the screenplay, but directed the movie! I can't recall ever seeing something like that before. How wonderful that an author could be given the opportunity to interpret his own work for the screen. Other credity magnificence: Joan Cusack is in it! I'm sold, buddy!

It was one of those wonderful movies you sort of wish you could have lived, especially if you were one of the millions of teenagers that didn't get invited to a whole lot of things, or, like me, lived in a place where you were surrounded by cows and corn. I watched it, wondering if any of the characters in my novel could stand up to the movie's characters. Some of those in the movie were really good, especially as an ensemble. Ezra Miller truly shone as Patrick, our wallflower's outgoing gay friend. I'm convinced I've seen him in something else, but I haven't seen any of his other work. What's left is that he either reminds me of someone I've known, or his acting was so strong, I felt a sort of déjà vu.

In a cast of fucked up characters, Charlie, the protagonist, stands out as powerfully fucked up and we're drawn in, watching the complete depths of his inner mess unfold throughout the movie as he struggles with dealing with anyone and everyone.

If a film makes me want to hang with its characters, like Whip It did and like this one did, I've got to call it a great film. I haven't yet read the book, but purchased it today. Go watch or read or whatever you want to do with it.

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