Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Best High School Movies Ever

When you look at lists of the best movies about high-school, it kind of stinks that there just aren't many (or any) near the top that are recent.

Which is why The Perks of Being a Wallflower arrives as such a treat. Author and director Stephen Chbosky captures the insecurities and neuroses of teenage adolescence with clarity and emotion. No characters are ever interesting without a backstory (we all have one), and lead characters Charlie (Logan Lerman), Sam (Emma Watson), and Patrick (Ezra Miller) have stories both real and explained.

The only element keeping Perks from being a classic is that it's not as funny as it could be. There are several moments that are very funny for a line or two, and the fact that those bits work so well, it makes me think that Chbosky could have easily added more.

Nevertheless, the film is not really aiming to be Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, or American Pie. It's much more on the darker side, like Heathers, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Not a bad side to aspire to.

**** out of ***** stars