This movie is about high school students. And it’s actually somewhat good. Shocking, I know. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a wall flower. I know. You are totally floored because the connection between the story and the title wasn’t more obvious. Charlie, very shy, lives on the sidelines, watching, rather than participating. When he starts high school, however, things begin to change when he meet Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson). Charlie’s new friends not only bring him into the center of his life but teach him about himself.
Okay, with a summary like that, I’m sure you are wondering how this is an interesting movie, but let me assure you, there is a lot more to it. The film was released in 2012 and directed by Stephen Chbosky. Interestingly, Chbosky not only directed the film but also wrote the book it was based on of the same name. Which is probably why the film is such a close adaptation. I read the book before seeing the film. I enjoyed it so much I stayed up all night to finish it. For a book about high school students it has some very raw, powerful prose. Chbosky is somehow able to put the spirit of that into his film.
What I believe is so resonating about this film is that it tells s story everyone can relate to. We all get lonely at times, or wish we were accepted more, or by different people, or that our romantic relationships were different. All of those ideas are here, and more. Which makes the film feel very honest, and sincere, and definitely not as contrived, as, say, a John Hughes movie. This is not that surprising, considering that both the novel and the film are based on the life of Stephen Chbosky.
It is a bit of a tragic film, but I don’t feel that it necessarily qualifies as a tragedy. As the film unfolds, viewers learn Charlie is on the sidelines of life so much because of a traumatic moment in his past. Towards the end, when the audience learns exactly what happens to Charlie, it’s very shocking and sad, but what the movie is really about is how he deals with it. Which really makes it a beautiful story.
The film is also edited very well. There is a moment Charlie kind of breaks down, and the editing starts skipping around so the audience starts having an experience comparable to what Charlie’s going through, which is very powerful.
As far as the acting, Emma Watson is great, and does a very convincing American accent. I want to be the new best friend of Ezra Miller. I did enjoy the performance of Logan Lerman, but he kept reminding me of a young Michael Cera. I guess it could be worse.
So, for a very artistic movie that is able to make high school students interesting, (probably because they are not cheerleaders) I give this movie an 8, and highly recommend people to read the book and/or see the film.