The Perks of Being A Wallflower – and the perks of Stephen Chbosky writing the screenplay

Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, writes the screenplay for the Perks movie. The results? Perfection.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was released in the United States on September 21st, and I finally got some time to go see it in theaters this week. The movie stars Logan Lerman as Charlie (Percy Jackson), Emma Watson as Sam (Harry Potter), Ezra Miller as Patrick (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Nina Dobrev as Charlie’s sister Candace (The Vampire Diaries).

For those of you that don’t know, Perks is based off Stephen Chbosky’s coming-of-age story set in the 90s. I feel like reading this book is a rite of passage for most teenagers. I don’t know many people that haven’t read the book, but if you are one of those people you need to read it immediately. Even though it came out in 1999, it’s a story that’s going to be relatable for all coming generations. It’s a story that you instantly connect with, and it’s probably one of the most Tumblr quoted books in all of history. “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite rings a bell, doesn’t it?

I don’t feel like I can adequately describe this book to you, so here’s the description from the back of the book:

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

If you’re interesting in purchasing the book, you can do so over at Amazon.

The movie was perfectly done, and I know the only reason it came across so well on screen is because Stephen Chbosky did the screenplay. Not only did he do the screenplay, but he directed the movie as well. It feels so good to know that the author of one of my favorite books was literally completely involved in making it into a movie. Directors, producers, etc of other books-to-movie adaptations need to take note – Have the author be heavily involved and don’t force changes down their throat. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to see a favorite book of mine come to life on the big screen and left completely disappointed. I mean, look at how well Harry Potter did. Do you think it would have been nearly as successful if the book lovers were heartbroken to find out there the changes that were made, (because yeah, you can’t NOT change a book a bit when going to movie format), took away from the story? Twilight is a great example of that. Books weren’t great, but the movies were even worse. I honestly couldn’t have wished or hoped for anything more from this movie. The dialogue was almost identical to the book, in all the right ways. The flashbacks were done perfectly, the chemistry was phenomenal. It all felt so real and just as beautiful and tragic as the book. Literally, perfect. The whole time I was smiling, but on the inside…

While the movie is both beautiful and tragic it is also hysterical. There are some very serious underlying topics in this movie like abusive relationships, mental instability, death, guilt, bullying, molestation, and then some not so serious things like worrying about college and SATs etc. What’s so great about this book and the movie is that there are these really genuine moments where your heart just gets all warm and fuzzy. Then there are moments where you really laugh out loud. This is a story of real friends – your friends. Driving around blasting music, sitting around in someone’s house doing nothing but having the time of your lives. Whether you were/are a wallflower or not you know these people and you can’t help but let it hit home for you. While there were all these dark subject matters the movie wasn’t depressing. I enjoyed it, I was smiling half the time (the other half of the time I was scream-whispering to my friend, “OMG BEFORE COMPUTERS WERE AROUND”) and the characters were just so lovable. Ezra’s character Patrick was definitely my favorite. I don’t think I gave Patrick enough credit in the book, though then again when I read Perks I was too busy focusing all of my attention on Charlie. Regardless, Patrick is a flamboyantly gay senior (he even dresses up as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a recurring live Rocky Horror Picture Show play). He’s honestly just so funny throughout pretty much the entire movie.

I don’t want to give anything away, but hopefully you all go see the movie. The soundtrack of the movie is available on iTunes and Amazon, and features music from The Smiths and David Bowie as well as others. Overall I think the movie was a total success. Just like after I finished the book, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this movie. This is one I will buy the day it comes out on DVD, and I will most likely go see the movie again in theaters (despite the outrageous prices).

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