Perks of Being a Wallflower

I thought I had read this book, but either I totally forgot all the plot points (entirely plausible), or I had just heard a lot about it and thought I had read it (also entirely plausible).  I feel like I’ve read it and if I think hard enough about it I think “Yeah I remember that part of the book”, but that could just be confirmation bias and flawed memory at work.  I did double check a synopsis and it turns out the movie is a pretty faithful adaptation, which is nice.

I really enjoyed it, actually.  It feels like a young adult novel, which speaks to how well the screenplay captures the book, I guess… which also means there are corny “teen” moments that make you kinda roll your eyes, but at the same times those moments feel pretty authentic.  It almost felt like re-living teenage years, which was uncomfortable… but part of the point is to show how uncomfortable being a teenager is even without a bunch of extra shit to deal with on top of that.

I feel like the movie handled the plot reveals fairly well.  You get a sense of “There is something more going on here” and it wasn’t all in your face with it.  At some points it trips itself up with that too, though.  Charlie mentions his best friend shooting himself and if you haven’t read the book you honestly wonder whether that friend truly existed at some point or if it was some sort of hallucination on Charlie’s part.  And then it never really comes up again in the movie.  The book covers everything, but the movie ran out of space, I guess.  Charlie’s letter writing to “dear friend” are pretty nebulous in the movie too.  What friend?  The one that shot himself?  A figment in his head?  The movie doesn’t really elaborate.  It’s handled well enough that you gloss over it unless you think about it, but the movie sort of prods you to think about things, so… whoops.

So the movie doesn’t really capture the entire book gracefully, but movies are quite frequently better viewed as an accompaniment to a book rather than a replacement for one, so maybe it will serve as an incentive to go back to the source and get all the details.


About tagracat
I am not a professional, I don't get paid to review shit, I am just opinionated and I seem to have some sort of disorder that results in spewing my opinions onto the internet. I enjoy writing long-winded posts about things and sometimes I like to pretend people want to read them, so a blog seemed an appropriate place to stuff it. But mostly I just like writing about things.

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