Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

TIFF Review: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

The coming-of-age novel comes to life in this new adaptation starring Logan Lerman

By: Ilan Mester

Published: September 16th, 2012 in Culture » Film » Reviews

TIFF Review: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

The main problem with The Perks of Being a Wallflower is that the trailer is so awesome that it sets an incredibly high bar for the actual movie. That’s not to say that Perks -- adapted from the celebrated novel by Stephen Chbosky -- isn’t a good film. Many fans of the book, along with viewers who never read the popular 1990s novel, will thoroughly enjoy it.

In a nutshell, the movie is a coming-of-age story about a soft-spoken high schooler named Charlie (played by Logan Lerman) who finds a group of friends and comes to terms with a family secret. What’s interesting about the project -- which had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival -- is that the novel’s writer actually stepped in to adapt the screenplay and direct the film.

He’s only directed one other movie before this (and there are times where you can tell that). But as the mind behind the novel, there’s no one better suited to helm this movie. Chbosky makes sure the film stays true to the novel and fans will definitely appreciate that.

Moviegoers will also appreciate the movie's cast. Lerman (3:10 to Yuma, Percy Jackson & The Olympians) is perfect for the part and delivers a solid performance as Charlie. He and Harry Potter’s Emma Watson (who plays Sam in the movie) have great chemistry together. But it’s ultimately Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin) who delivers a star-making performance as the outspoken Patrick.

Perks isn’t the best coming-of-age movie ever made. But it’s still a memorable one that will please fans and make many viewers want to pick up the novel.


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