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The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heartfelt and sincere adaptation that's bolstered by strong lead performances.
All Critics (159)
| Top Critics (42)
| Fresh (136)
| Rotten (23)
| DVD (1)
Even making allowances for a certain amount of Hollywood gloss, there's something wrong with a film about misfits where everyone is this good-looking and poised.
Perks seems like the work of a much more experienced director, maintaining fidelity to the source material without sacrificing any cinematic qualities, triggering genuine sentimentality and nostalgia through interaction between sound and image.
Sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.
Regardless of the viewer's proximity to his or her own high school experience, "Perks" seems to get it right, precisely because it's not about a specific time or place.
The movie has its moments of soap-opera excitement, but it has all the substance of a teenage strop, and none of the energy.
Watson holds her own with a character more annoying on paper than in reality, but it's the boys who most impress ...
It's a rare movie that improves upon the book in every way.
The film, much like its reclusive protagonist, manages to carve out its own identity amongst a sea of vapid imitators.
This is boring, and it's partly that believability thing. How many alienated outsiders do you have to gather together before they become insiders? Alternatively, they are all so good-looking, smart and well-heeled, they are winners, surely.
Like the best teen movies, the filmmakers recognize the power of the music we associated with our youth, and the excitement of finding somebody else who likes the same weird music you do.
A surprisingly spot-on directorial debut, cementing Chbosky's voice as one to be listened to. His directorial style compliments the material to a tee, and helps to deliver a film that's as earnest, heartfelt and charming as coming-of-age dramas get.
Perks hits on a kind of universal nostalgia for the teenage years...without blunting the sharp, dark edges it simultaneously imparts.
While a toast to those surviving not-fitting-in while in high school and to nerds everywhere, this is at heart basically a message film warning about what it is in life that makes outsiders feel the way that they do (i.e. usually victimization). Take away the message and what remains is another coming-of-age drama, one decently actualized. Expect lots of classic rock dance tunes.
Dealing with the problems of approaching adulthood in high school, friendship, love and a whole bunch of themes more could make for a horribly dry or self-important film. This one has its pretentious moments that make you wonder if there ever were three friends with such a glamorous gang doing such "crazy" things. But overall it works, thanks to a script that is taking its characters and their problems seriously without forgetting the humor. It also helps that the young actors are excellent, even Lerman who was mostly really dull in other films. There are moments of genuine truth, catching the hopes, fears and opportunity of adolescence rather perfectly, and a pretty surprising twist towards the end, that thankfully doesn't ruin the film's ultimately optimistic attitude. Viewed at the right age this could be a long-time companion, much like the friends in the movie. Well done.
A beautifully sad yet brilliant masterpiece.
I might have preferred a little more depth to my characters rather than simply scratching the surface. But wonderfully powerful with a great young cast. Emma Watson excelled in this role!
Loved the cast in this movie. Loved the music in this movie. Loved the feel of this movie. Let's face it!! I just LOVED this movie!! ;)
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