The Perks of being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) - IMDb

I originally watched this movie years ago but completely forgot about it and every detail of the film. It’s kind of a forgettable film honestly. There are elements of the film that I really enjoy but there was no part of it that I hung onto or made me think. Since then I have read the book, which I actually really liked. It is a very well-written book and has a certain depth to it that makes you feel connected to it after reading it. Following reading the book, I decided to rewatch the movie since it had been so long, and I now remember why I didn’t remember any of it.

I found the characters in the movie to be completely two-dimensional. They had no depth and nothing all that interesting about them whatsoever. I think what is so special about the book is how Charlie sees the world and analyzes people. There is so much more to them through Charlie’s eyes, and the movie really misses that. I really like the casting choices and the actors in the film but the characters themselves don’t have much to them. The book had so much to work with and they took a lot out when it came to Charlie’s family and his relationships which took away from the film. 

The pacing is extremely slow and honestly boring. There is no build-up to any real issues and the climax of the story lasts all of five seconds before they forgive Charlie. It doesn’t have any weight to it and falls flat. In the book, there is a lot more to it and I think it gives more insight into what Charlie is thinking and how his mind works a little differently. Whereas in the movie he just looks like a jerk, and you don’t feel bad for him the same way you do in the book. A lot of major details from the book are just thrown in to fill time or used as a sentence in a voiceover but never explored further than that.

At the end of the day, you develop no connection to these characters. I understand you can’t translate every detail from a novel to a movie but they took out a lot of what makes this story interesting. The film’s take on the story is boring and the characters have little personality or screen time, which makes them hard to relate to. The movie falls flat to me aside from the strong actors and otherwise above-average cinematography. It’s not the greatest film but it has a good message. There are a lot of characters in the novel and a lot happens between all of them. In a one-hour and forty-five-minute film, it's hard to unpack everything. I think that if the book was to be adapted today it would be a mini-series on Netflix and not a film. It deserves more time to really tell the full story. If you have read the book, maybe don’t watch the movie, but if you haven’t read it give it a chance and then read the book.


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