(Sensitive Coming of Age Movie)
While Coming of Age movies are best left to teenage audiences, this sensitive, well written, well acted film is so good we would recommend it for adults...especially parents.
Based on a best selling novel that we weren't familiar with, "Perks of Being a Wallflower" tells the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman) who starts his first day of high school with the disturbing knowledge that he still has 1,384 days to go.
Charlie is a loner. A wallflower. His introverted nature is caused by a dark secret that he cannot deal with and has led him to deep depression and therapy.
Charlie is befriended by two seniors, the gay Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his stepsister Sam (Emily Watson).
The two invite Charlie to join their small group of students who don't fit the usual high school mold, and Charlie slowly comes out of his shell, although his problem is always there in the background.
We found it difficult to put a time period on the movie but are guessing the ’80s, when things seemed to be a bit more innocent.
The movie uses Charlie's voiceover to keep the story moving and let us in on his thoughts as he types letters to some unknown person.
Mae Whitman, who is so great in TV's "Parenthood," plays an interesting character that adopts Charlie as his first girlfriend.
The relationship between Charlie and Sam is an interesting one, as the two opposites slowly become best friends, though Charlie is hoping for more.
Charlie knows that he is "in a bad place," and in spite of his problems, has a need to be there for his friends and his sister, who is in a bad relationship.
While young teens will be exposed to a few scenes related to sex and drugs, they are handled sensitively and are nothing they haven't been exposed to.
Charlie, in his wisdom, tells his abused sister that, "We accept the love we think we deserve," and challenges himself and others with the burning question: "Why do nice people pick the wrong people to date?"
The movie deals with subjects that still face teenagers today. It does it in a sensitive way, with humor and pathos.
Rated PG-13 because of its honest approach to sex, drugs, alcohol and relationships.