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"The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" Trailer: Will It Live Up To The Book?

Natalie Morin |
June 7, 2012 | 10:41 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

The film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's beloved book "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" will be released in September (Flickr/ Tripp)
The film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's beloved book "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" will be released in September (Flickr/ Tripp)
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

You may have heard this quote thrown around blogs or seen it tacked onto a corkboard in a little cafe, but what you might not know is that this quote comes from Stephen Chbosky's highly-acclaimed novel, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

The book depicts a coming-of-age story about a boy named Charlie, who wanders through life as a lonely but curious outsider until he meets two step-sibings, Sam and Patrick, who change his life forever. 

Under the wings of his new friends, Charlie learns valuable lessons, and, in turn, unknowingly teaches them a thing or two about love and the delicate nature of humanity.

Chbosky recently adapted his epistolary novel into a movie, which he also directed. It is set to come out this coming September and will star Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam and Ezra Miller as Patrick. Paul Rudd also stars as Charlie's caring and perceptive English teacher.

After months of anticipation from many, the trailer for the film aired for the first time this weekend at the MTV Movie Awards. And, in my humble opinion, it seems as if the movie won't disappoint.

For those who are fans of the novel, it is comforting to see the similarities between the book and the movie. Little details like the color of the cover (lime green) are seen in the trailer, and certain lines from the book (like the one mentioned above), are spoken word-for-word (forget about the pesky pronouns) by the characters. This is due most likely to the author's huge involvement in bringing the novel to life.

Even for those not so familiar with the story itself, the good quality of actors in the cast and the relatable nature of the story (a story of the difficulties and joys of growing up, which everyone, of course, goes through) will make it a "must-see" this fall.

Emma Watson will shed her Hogwarts robes and don an American accent as she plays the beautiful and rebellious Sam. Watson's character is a bold young woman who doesn't quite have a good sense of self-worth, as she tends to date young men who treat her badly.

As Charlie's love interest in the novel, she opens doors for him in terms of understanding the female psyche and learning to appreciate his own quirky qualities. Watson could bring a lot of fire to Sam on screen, especially since as of late, she's learned how to walk the line of edgy, yet delicate. My only hesitation is that since she's British, she might not completely understand (due to lack of first-hand experience) what it's like to attend high school in the U.S. The atmosphere and culture is very different, and she might translate as a little too "foreign" for the role.

Logan Lerman, who has acted alongside the likes of Renée Zellweger and Christian Bale, seems to fit the role of the mysterious, complicated and loving Charile very well. While reading the novel, you get a sense that Charlie is constantly surrounded by a cloud of both confusion and curiosity. His innocence and lack of experience in, well, most things makes him seem not only like an outsider in high school, but also an outsider in the world he lives in.

He's a "wallflower", but uses what he observes to gain insight into people and situations that many others are too involved to see. This "understanding" he has makes him especially likable and appreciated by Sam and Patrick, and his secret comfort with taking risks and trying new things lead him to understand more and more about the world around him.

Lerman has the physicality of a quiet teenager, and his previous acting experience will prove helpful to dissecting the mind of his soft-spoken, complex character. I wonder, though, if he will be able to become as introverted as the character demands, as Lerman has played heroes and other character in the past who are bold and say what's on their minds. A lot of Charlie is simply quiet, and hopefully Lerman will be able to relate what he feels or thinks by his expressions and not only through words. He will have to master the art of subtlety before he successfully masters his character.

Finally, I have to admit that I am most excited to see Ezra Miller-- who did a wonderful job as the creepy, dysfunctional teenage title role in "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (with Tilda Swinton)--- play the carefree, witty and flamboyant Patrick.

Patrick is an outspoken and lively young man who is not afraid to be himself. He serves as a kind of role model for Charlie, as he truly enjoys life and takes care of the people he loves. Patrick is the character to truly urge Charlie to be comfortable in his own skin and to never change, just because society deems him as "socially inept" or awkward. He also teaches Charlie about love in all forms, as Patrick is gay and his relationships are almost, if not just as complex as those of his stepsister.

I think that Miller is a fantastic actor who embodies his roles with his heart and soul, and I believe that he will be able to channel both the fun-loving and darker sides of Patrick. The challenge with this role will be to strike the balance between teacher and pupil: for the character to translate as strong, but also deeply affected by the homophobia and discrimiation that he faces both in and outside of school. Charlie looks up to him, but he also learns from Patrick's mistakes and fears.

All in all, it seems as if there may be a little something in the movie for everyone who sees it. So far, the trailer for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" stirs feelings of hope of a well adapted, balanced film. Only time will tell if the movie lives up to the hype. In the meantime, it's always encouraged to pick up the novel and read it before the movie comes out. That way, you can make your own judgements.


Watch the trailer for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" below.


Reach writer Natalie Morin here or follow her on Twitter.



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