‘Perks’ gets the teen movie right

By Amanda Powell
apowell@kykernel.com

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” began as a popular coming-of-age-novel by Stephen Chbosky.

The screen adaptation, also by Chbosky, started out in select theaters and is now being phased in to mainstream cinemas.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this movie, and now, with rave reviews coming from magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, Elle and Marie Claire, it may just be the breakout movie of the year.

Logan Lerman (Charlie), Emma Watson (Sam) and Ezra Miller (Patrick) worked so well together that there were points in the movie where you could be laughing and crying at the same time.

The film is about Charlie’s experience during freshman year of high school, when he meets Sam and Patrick, a stepbrother and sister who befriend him.

The audience follows Charlie as he experiments with drugs and alcohol and learns what true friendship is all about.

Throughout the movie, it is evident that Charlie is struggling with something very deep. You won’t find out what it is until the end, but you learn that life gets better.

The movie could have gone horribly wrong. It easily could have turned into “just another teen movie,” but it didn’t.

Certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is bound to get recognition at upcoming award shows.

Lerman, Watson and Miller all carried their weight throughout the movie.

Learman played a perfect Charlie — scared, but willing to try anything. Where he could have gone overboard with emotion and acting choices, he made you believe he was really suffering.

Hearing Watson without her British accent took some getting used to (she played Hermione in “Harry Potter”) but she embodied Sam extremely well. She explored Sam’s daring and carefree personality throughout the movie, and it was obvious she will still be a big star in Hollywood without “Harry Potter.”

Miller was spectacular as Patrick. You wouldn’t even think he was playing a character. No scene felt forced, and he gave the movie the perfect amount of comic relief and sentiment at the same time.

Chbosky couldn’t have picked a better cast.

When I walk out of a movie, I always consider if I forgot I was watching actors. If they can make an audience forget that the movie dialogue wasn’t memorized from a script, I think they did something right.

It is their ability to pull you into an alternate reality and keep you there that makes a good movie, and the cast did just that.

As a member of the audience, I felt that I could be friends with Charlie and I was experiencing life with him.

Whether or not you went through what Charlie did, the film is encouraging and relatable; it gets an A+ in my book.

Logan Lerman looks like a young Paul Rudd. And they are both Jewish. Too bad Rudd is not playing Lerman’s father in this film.