While there are a lot of films that examine adolescence and the high school years, few films treat the subject with the authenticity, realism, and keen insight that The Perks of Being a Wallflower does. It's a film that takes on themes regarding isolation, social stigma, growing up, mental illness, and identity, and does so in a manner that feels true to the subject matter.
The acting is really top notch all around, with Logan Lerman turning in an excellent performance as the introverted teen, with a phenomenal subtlety and charm that really defines the role. Good too is Emma Watson, as the unique free spirit who inhibits her role to strong effect, reminiscent of some early performances of Natalie Portman.
The script also sets the film a part in its smart writing. There are familiar coming-of-age plot-lines, but in this film they are written well, and flow with a narrative that is organic, yet distinct. It's Almost Famous meets Juno.
It's also a particularly moving film, with emotional arcs that pay off, but not in an easy or convenient manner. We see character development in a realistic way, not overtly contrived, as so many similar films do. Instead, Perks of Being a Wallflower seems dead-on in how it views its subject to such an extent, that we can't help but be involved.
Overall it's smart, moving, well written, very well acted, and timely.