Stephen Chbosky’s beloved high school saga, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, makes the jump to the big screen next month. The author/screenwriter both wrote and directed the film adaptation of his book, working with a cast of established young stars like Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Emma Watson (Harry Potter), and Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin).
The first clip from Chbosky’s adaptation teases a warm and fuzzy moment in the bonding process for the film’s three central characters: Sam (Watson), a beautiful high-school senior; Patrick (Miller), Sam’s gay stepbrother – and Charlie (Lerman), the eponymous “wallflower” who quietly observes the world around him, keeping his own troubling feelings pent up as much as possible.
Whereas the Perks of Being a Wallflower trailer sells the film as more of a spirited and nostalgic look back at high school life, this clip does a better job of capturing the relatively quieter tone of Chbosky’s book. It provides further proof that Miller looks to be a scene-stealer, while Watson does a reasonable job of delivering a line that could’ve easily been more cheesy than eloquent (“Welcome to the island of misfit toys”).
All in all, this scene (short it may be) seems to offer a better indication of how Chbosky has translated his source novel to the big screen. Readers who grew up – or are still growing up – loving Perks of Being a Wallflower should approve.
However, Chbosky’s novel still offers a portrayal of the teen years that’s far more colorful than many people’s memories of that time – in part because the story is told from a more esoteric, rather than omniscient, perspective. In other words: Perks of Being a Wallflower might come off as more a collection of coming-of-age genre clichés, for those whose experience was far different than Charlie’s.
What makes the Perks of Being a Wallflower book work as well as it does for all people is that the characters are, by and large, relatable (even if the situations are not). So long as the movie does likewise, it should have fairly wide appeal; given the strong acting talent involved, there’s reason to be hopeful.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower opens in U.S. theaters on September 21st, 2012.
Source: Summit Entertainment