Thursday, March 28, 2013

Saturday Night Movie: Perks of Being a Wallflower

From March 1, 2013... 
Procrastination rules at the ESF.

I was given the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower by my [ex-]friend Shelley in 2010.

It was the first time I had ever received anything from a friend, so I accepted it gracefully, and neglected to read it. She gave it to me in October 2009, but I didn't read it until Summer 2010. I felt very bad because she had poured thought into it and I didn't even bother to read it.

I read it, and I loved it. It was the best book I had ever read on my accord.

It was so good, I wrote her a letter of thanks, which I regretted sending after our falling out. Looking back on it, it may have not been so stupid, but it was a very good book. So naturally, I was excited when Lupe told me the movie was being made in late 2011. (The letter is addressed here...)

I waited all year, and I finally heard news of its completion in mid-2012. I didn't see ads for it until September, but couldn't find a theater close enough that was showing it. They were in Dallas, and that was just too-far out for a movie. 

To be honest, when I saw the actors that played each character, I thought the only good one was Emma Watson. Although imagined Sam taller and older than Charlie (she's a senior while he's a freshman), she fit the roll. Lerman and Miller didn't seem right to me, because I thought of Charlie as thin and pale (while Lerman does fit that profile, I can't really explain it) and Patrick more straight-edge than Miller looked.

In early February, I signed up for a trial of Redbox Instant, which is a Netflix-type service between Redbox and Verizon. With that, I got three free rentals, and with Mike and Cynthia in attendance, I decided upon renting Perks since it had been out for five months by that time.

On a Saturday night, we traveled to an Albertson's market and retrieved the DVD from a kiosk inside the store. 

I popped the DVD into the Blu-Ray player and away we went. 

As we watched the movie, I filled M&C in with some of the back story. 

As I watched, it reminded me of things I had forgotten. For example, I had forgotten that Charlie mentions shop class as one of his favorites. 

I think one of the more climatic scenes, which I had seen in GIF-form on Tumblr was of Patrick kissing Charlie. In the book, it happens in Patrick's car after a night of cruising a park. It bugged me how things were out-of-order, like the abuse Charlie's sister takes or the stages of Patrick's relationship with Brad. Some of the omissions also bugged me, like Charlie meeting Bill's wife, the Christmas trip to his dad's house in Ohio, or the cruising part where he lights up a sportscaster's cigarette.

But what ultimately made the point was Charlie's breakdown after Sam and Patrick move away.

Using the illusion of heat, we see Charlie walk home, in a suit, having flashbacks about the death of Aunt Helen. A policeman comes to the door... and we end up in the hospital.

To be honest, when I read the book, I didn't realize that his Aunt had abused him. When I saw the movie, that was the first time I had figured out what had happened. 

I was quite shocked... two years after I read it, I now know the reason why he was the way he was.

In the end, although some things were not the way I would have liked to be, and other things not addressed, it really is a great movie. Both Miller and Lerman grew on me as their respective characters and now I can't see them any other way, the same with Watson. 

From this "everyday critic", I give this film