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Emma Watson
Logan Lerman
Paul Rudd
Ezra Miller
Mae Whitman.
Stephen Chbosky.
Stephen Chbosky.
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103 minutes

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Hermione + Percy Jackson 4-ever

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Suburban Pittsburgh, the early ’90s. Freshman Charlie (Lerman) is having trouble fitting in — his English teacher (Rudd) is the best friend he has. Then, he falls in with a group of older punk-Goth kids, including the homosexual Patrick (Miller) and his stepsister Sam (Watson).

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
You'd be right to approach with caution any movie that tackles the pitfalls and plateaus of adolescence. High-school coming-of-age is fraught with tedious cliché and too often written by people either misremembering their own distant youth, or aghastly observing their hormone-unhinged offspring. On the surface, Stephen Chbosky’s film, based on his 1999 novel, appears avoidable. It ladles in acid trips, teen suicide, Rocky Horror, Tom Savini, homosexuality, truth-or-dare and Dexys Midnight Runners. Actually, that does sound pretty accurate...

Like the average teen, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is often clumsy and awkward. Chbosky’s technical direction is scrappy, and every now and then the script drops a clunker (“How long have you been boyfriend and girlfriend?”). Yet there is something about it that just chimes. The period setting helps, making these teens as relatable to thirtysomethings as teens themselves. Plus the soundtrack is inherently superior (one surprisingly magical moment sees Charlie, Sam and Patrick blissing out to Heroes and wondering,“What IS this song?”).

Crucially, though, Chbosky has cast his story well. Ezra Miller is lumbered with the ‘flamboyant GBFF’ role, but handles it with care. As ‘wallflower’ Charlie, Logan Lerman is surprisingly likable. With Charlie narrating via letters to an imaginary penpal we see his world unfurl into confusing, terrifying and amazing complexity, and even when his predicament takes a melodramatic turn, he remains an effective emotional conduit. Then there’s Emma Watson, all growed up and turned Transatlantic as the nerdy teen boys’ ideal girl. The American accent suits her, as does the post-Hermione loosening up. She’ll go far.

An honest, affection-hooking, coming-of-age drama which proves that there is life beyond Hogwarts for Emma Watson.

Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Empire Star Rating

Having read the book many years ago, I was fairly excited/interested to see how this would turn out - especially with Chbosky to adapt and direct his own work... Overall, I liked it. I think most of it stayed true to the story, and the characters turned out right. I think the dialogue was quite corny, which surprised me a little, and some scenes were over dramatised, but nonetheless: enjoyable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danfacey711 at 13:28, 24 February 2013 | Report This Post

Very, Very Well Done

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one but was pleasantly surprised. All 3 leads were superb. Loved Ezra Miller, who was also fantastic in We Need To Talk About Kevin. In turns very touching and funny. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Turd Ferguson at 17:41, 14 February 2013 | Report This Post

Faith Adaptation

Loved the book and this was a very good adaptation, but wow Emma Watson is awful in it! Poorly cast. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by charliemouse99 at 15:56, 10 October 2012 | Report This Post

RE: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Woah. At least one person here hasn't even seen the movie and has given it four stars. Utter rubbish, deeply irritating characters, tells us nothing new about the human condition. Worse, in its way, than Taken 2. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by endafk at 00:06, 08 October 2012 | Report This Post

Twee. Hipster. 'Twister'. But great.

It's everything the trailer makes you expect it to be, but it's so much more engaging than it lets on. All of the central characters are beautifully portrayed, and the story embraces emotion without relying on schmaltz to gloss things over. If you've ever felt like you can't quite fit in, this film is for you. I'm not sure how it'll stand up to repeated viewings, but I plan to find out. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:03, 05 October 2012 | Report This Post

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

On first glance, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower could have been an avoidable, awkward teen comedy used as a career platform for Emma Watson (her first major role since the Harry Potter series ended last July). Instead, it emerges as a surprisingly honest, humorous and sincere film exploring the obstacles faced in youth and adolescence. These obstacles could be finding your place, as Charlie (a subtle but superb Logan Lerman) creates strong relationships with his 2 friends, Patrick and Sam. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by at 22:01, 03 October 2012 | Report This Post


I saw this at the UK Gala screening and have to say I was thoroughly impressed. The film is a little more light hearted than the book, which gives the film a feel like classic John Hughes films such as the Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Logan Lerman is engaging as the focal character, Charlie but the standouts for me are Emma Watson as Sam who gives an emotional and heartfelt performance (and really pulls off the American accent) along with Ezra Miller who is hilarious and heartbreaking as ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by labyrinth at 14:09, 03 October 2012 | Report This Post

can't wait to see this

after I saw the trailer for the first time, & getting addicted to the songs played in the trailer, I decided to buy the book & read the book before the film came out. the book was amazing. life changing, which sounds cliche, but it was one of the best books I've ever read. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by megank13 at 21:33, 26 September 2012 | Report This Post

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